30 Jan 2018

American Education Is For the Mediocre

, , ,

Christopher Michael Langin explains why conventional American education short changes the genuinely smart.

Owing to the shape of a bell curve, the education system is geared to the mean. Unfortunately, that kind of education is virtually calculated to bore and alienate gifted minds. But instead of making exceptions where it would do the most good, the educational bureaucracy often prefers not to be bothered.

In my case, for example, much of the schooling to which I was subjected was probably worse than nothing. It consisted not of real education, but of repetition and oppressive socialization (entirely superfluous given the dose of oppression I was getting away from school). Had I been left alone, preferably with access to a good library and a minimal amount of high-quality instruction, I would at least have been free to learn without useless distractions and gratuitous indoctrination. But alas, no such luck.

While my own background is rather exceptional, it is far from unique. Many young people are affected by one or more of the same general problems experienced by my brothers and me. A rising number of families have severe financial problems, forcing educational concerns to take a back seat to food, shelter, and clothing on the list of priorities. Even in well-off families, children can be starved of parental guidance due to stress, distraction, or irresponsibility. If a mind is truly a terrible thing to waste, then the waste is proportional to mental potential; one might therefore expect that the education system would be quick to help extremely bright youngsters who have it rough at home. But if so, one would be wrong a good part of the time.

Let’s try to break the problem down a bit. The education system is subject to a psychometric paradox: on one hand, it relies by necessity on the standardized testing of intellectual achievement and potential, including general intelligence or IQ, while on the other hand, it is committed to a warm and fuzzy but scientifically counterfactual form of egalitarianism which attributes all intellectual differences to environmental factors rather than biology, implying that the so-called “gifted” are just pampered brats who, unless their parents can afford private schooling, should atone for their undeserved good fortune by staying behind and enriching the classroom environments of less privileged students.

HT: Vox Day.

2 Feedbacks on "American Education Is For the Mediocre"

Seattle Sam

Commercial TV produces shows that appeal to the interests and intellect of the mean (or maybe below the mean). Fortunately, government wasn’t able to impose its rule on that industry, and there are lots of alternatives open to you at very low costs. The solution for education is precisely the same. There will be schools for those who want to exercise their intellect. And schools for those who want the educational equivalent of Dancing With the Stars.


I would argue that the American education system also harms boys more than girls and serves neither. The purpose of the education system today is to benefit the teachers and administration and not the students.

I would believe a proper system would be one that provided a “trade school” environment for boys who might choose that. an “elite” education for those students capable of competing in such a system. A basic education for all who do not choose either of the other options.

The problem would be that an elite or “prep” type of school intended to only be open to those who in competition excel would be lacking diversity and of course would eliminate many children of parents with political and/or economic power who would then seek to pervert the system to admit their “exceptional” children. In other words the integrity of this better system would become a political/PC football and could not succeed. Never the less it should be implemented and the best efforts made to make it work.


Please Leave a Comment!

Please note: Comments may be moderated. It may take a while for them to show on the page.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark