The following article first appeared on The Rebel website.
Derek Bok said if you think education is expensive try ignorance. A rarely considered or measured cost is exploitation of ignorance. Confidence tricksters use people’s limitations to take advantage. Global warming is just another example, albeit the largest in history, because the entire world was fooled. Few can explain the greenhouse effect and most who think they can get it wrong because the Earth’s atmosphere does not work like a greenhouse.
A study by Yale University evaluated public knowledge about climate change. They assessed the results by letter grades A, B, C, D, and F, like a high school assignment. The “straight scale” results illustrate the problem.
The term “straight scale” illustrates the thinking of those who carried out the project. What they mean is the actual results, but it is only part of the deception. These show that over half the responders failed completely while 75 percent were below average.
Then the Yale researchers did what most educators do; they “adjusted” the results. Instead of facing the reality that the public is ill educated because of the failed education system, of which they are a part, they said the questions were too difficult. All students are familiar with the standard device for avoiding blame namely marking on a “curve”. This refers to the standard statistical graph known as the Bell curve. It is supposed to represent how results will distribute in a population (N) or a sample (n). Thirty is considered a statistically significant sample.
In the Yale case, they applied a curve to achieve a more acceptable result. Not because it improved or proved anything, but it made the public seem better informed than reality; apparently the result they wanted.
Let me see, they set the questions, they decided which questions were too hard, they adjusted the results to produce meaningless results. The unadjusted data is the real picture. Presumably they gave great thought to the questions and presumed the public would cope.
The problem is many of the questions and what the Yale people think are the correct answers are wrong. Unfortunately, most people would not know this. The level of ignorance is so extreme most people use carbon and CO2 interchangeably, unaware that the former is a solid, and the latter is a gas. It allows President Obama to rail against “carbon pollution” when he means CO2 and fails to understand it is not a pollutant.
Here is a graph posted on ABC News website. How many know what is wrong with the graph?
Exploitation of ignorance or control of the message through control of education has been the methodology of totalitarians throughout history. St. Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Jesuits, doctrine police of the Church, understood the permanent impression that the years of childhood make. He said, “Give me the first seven years, and I’ll give you the man.” Our schools follow this dictum, as they are centers of indoctrination, not education.
A great deal of the problem is the result of government taking over education. It solved a problem for families with both parents having to work, but it made the schools babysitting agencies. Most people have no idea what their children are learning, but that too is changing as more and more people are taking their children out of the failing government run system.
Parents want to prepare their children for life. Unfortunately, a modern western government education does little to prepare them for life. It does great harm by classifying their intelligence and abilities according to a very narrow academic definition of intelligence. It starts with the unwritten and child-destroying assumption that every child that enters kindergarten will end up in university. This means those who don’t are failures by default.
It is the message of the movie Crocodile Dundee, that a person from the Australian outback can survive in New York while a New Yorker dies quickly in the outback – yet who calls who primitive or intelligent? A primordial education is about surviving. This is different than formal education as evolved in western societies, which wants people totally dependent on government.