Education in America Today

“More than 99% of sailors have at least a high school diploma, fully 11 points better than the general public. Many more have taken college courses or finished bachelor degrees.”

Let me drop few names here :

For education of public.

Pierre Bourdieu His work was primarily concerned with the dynamics of power in society, and especially the diverse and subtle ways in which power is transferred and social order maintained within and across generations. Pierre Bourdieu’s work emphasized how social classes, especially the ruling and intellectual classes, preserve their social privileges across generations despite the myth that contemporary post-industrial society boasts equality of opportunity and high social mobility, achieved through formal education. He said by dumbing down, cultural capital of lower social classes eroded which resulted in loss of vertical mobility .

Aldous Huxley, who in Brave New World (1931), discussed the ways that society was effectively dumbed-down in order to maintain political stability and social order.

For those high school diplomas :

An Englishman, the high school physics instructor, Wellington Grey, published an ınternet petition, wherein he said “ı am a physics teacher. or, at least ı used to be”; and complained that “[mathematical] calculations – the very soul of physics – are absent from the new general certificate of secondary education.”

An American, John Taylor Gatto dumbing us down: the hidden curriculum of compulsory schooling (1991, 2002)

gatto speculated:

was it possible, ı had been hired, not to enlarge children’s power, but to diminish it? that seemed crazy, on the face of it, but slowly, ı began to realize that the bells and confinement, the crazy sequences, the age-segregation, the lack of privacy, the constant surveillance, and all the rest of the national curriculum of schooling were designed exactly as if someone had set out to prevent children from learning how to think, and act, to coax them into addiction and dependent behavior.

ın examining the seven lessons of teaching, gatto concluded that “all of these lessons are prime training for permanent underclasses, people deprived forever of finding the center of their own special genius.” that “school is a twelve-year jail sentence, where bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned. ı teach school, and win awards doing it. ı should know.”

For those college diplomas

Allan Bloom, for stripped down courses “closing of the american mind: how higher education has failed democracy and ımpoverished the souls of today’s students”

In my country we are also in a lethal downward spiral in a race to bottom which destroying any hope for the future of the country.


This make me glad I didn’t pay attention in school.


School was real meaningful education back in our day, not as good as in our grandfather’s day, but it was the real deal and a diploma and grade point average meant that we had been measured found qualified.

Today, every pupil gets a B or better (we cannot hurt anyone’s feelings), academic progress is based upon social promotion, not achievement. Diplomas are issued for time served.

This has devalued a high school diploma to the point that it’s nearly meaningless. A GED is not worth the paper it’s written on.

College degrees have been similarly devalued. Many public colleges have become little more than remedial education programs that attempt to teach pupils what they were supposed to have learned in high school, but didn’t. We’ve gotten to the point where a college degree does not mean much unless it is from a top private college or a good public research university.

Now that a college degree doesn’t mean much, there is a proliferation of Master’s degree programs, many of them with dubious academic value.

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except for engineering degrees…they are worth gold in our world

I agree that degrees in STEM subjects are more authentic and valuable. Sometimes even no name schools have some well regarded STEM programs.

The fewer that REALLY learn will rise to the top… i should think this would be most evident in a competitive business environment or a seriously forward thinking scientific endeavor.
and how can anyone function without learning the times tables?

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The state is doing a huge disservice to the millennial and younger generations with the joke called education in these United States, and the west as a whole.

There is no reason that at the beginning of high school that the schools can’t start training teenagers for jobs when they graduate or drop out.

Most teenagers and young adults would be better served learning a trade, any trade, for their four years of high school or the gifted children, college bound children couldn’t knock out a good chunk of their “well rounding” college classes during their four years in high school so when they arrive in college they can focus on what their major will be.


There’s an app for that.

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Yes but it’s not just rhe state. Years ago the beat and brightest Americans graduated from Ivy League schools and top engineering colleges and most wanted to build and discover important things. Today they want to work for google or facebook or wise they want to make movies and video games and youtube videos.

Here’s a great book on the wider topic:

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I’ll pick up a copy when I can. I’m sure it’s worth a read.

I still hold that employment and marketability should be the goal in high school, but I can see that turning into a vicious cycle by older generations being threatened by young blood.

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There is no doubt that education in the USA has deteriorated for the average child. The reasons are many. Lack of parental involvement in schools now that two earner families are the norm is one of them. Grossly unequal funding of schools due to the funding being left up to local government capability rather than equal funding state or nationwide. There are many other reasons too numerous to add. Preparing a child for employment beginning in high school sounds great but employment to do what? The best and brightest STEM grads go to work on Wall St to introduce new ways to make money out of air or Silicon Valley to get rich quick. The ones who aren’t in the top of their class from the best schools find themselves unable to compete with H visa temporary immigrants that have the same or better qualifications that will work for less money. There are precious few new opportunities in manufacturing or infrastructure in the pipeline to offer them hope. All this has evolved over the last 30-40 years with the complicity of elected officials directed by less than .5% of the population. They don’t give a rat’s ass about your kid’s education or opportunity to use it. They have their children’s opportunity laid out already.


Once upon a time, young people got jobs, worked for the same company for 30 or 40 years then retired. Those days are gone. Now, it’s expected that most people will not only change jobs, but change careers several times throughout their working life. This uncertainty and need for adaptability requires a better education.

But life and education are about a lot more than just knowledge to compete for jobs. A good education is invaluable.


Hell, I have changed my career twice since graduating some 37 years ago. . . let alone the 8 different employers. Actually more, but not counting “casual” and self employ. . . .

From “Risks of Trusting the Physics of Sensors” by Kevin Fu and Wenyuan Xu:

Students are losing an appreciation for the physical machines that implement computational abstractions. Students graduating from departments that diminish the role of computing machinery will not be prepared to create trustworthy cyberphysical systems. For instance, students unaware of transduction attacks may falsely believe that verified software is failure-proof. Math-centric departments tend to avoid courses that emphasize building physical systems. If a department eliminates computer architecture, students may seek comfort hiding behind a beautiful Java facade rather than facing the ugly limitations of computing machinery. Even engineering-centric computer science departments succumb to this problem. Students may desire immediately marketable programming skills over understanding the fundamental limitations of the machines on which their software runs.



Abstractions, I just ran into that term a couple week ago looking for something unrelated. The Law of Leaky Abstractions - It’s an interesting read.

Abstractions fail. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. There’s leakage. Things go wrong. It happens all over the place when you have abstractions.

The ECDIS is an abstraction, if I’m not mistaken.

You got it. And an occasionally fatal one, to boot.

(So is a printed chart, but without a computational basis).


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The original paper on Meltdown.

Meltdown breaks all security assumptions given by address space isolation as well as paravirtualized environments and, thus, every security mechanism building upon this foundation.

And this is why we homeschool. The public brainwashing system and a lot private schools are :put_litter_in_its_place:


OK I know I will probably get flamed for this … but.

Here in the UK, most Americans are percieved as being thick. It comes from experience of meeting your fellow countrymen who get a passport and travel outside home. I have experienced it myself from the wife of a SVP to one of your major construction companies… She thought that Paris was a suburb of London were you can pop down to Versailles for an afternoon visit.


That’s funny, because the rest of Europe thinks Brit’s are a little slow on the uptake. Must be a Anglosphere thing.