posted on Nov, 21 2003 @ 12:10 PM
Quite recently on ATS, a conspiracy theory has come to my attention which suggests that American public school students are being systematically and
deliberately dumbed down. This theory interested me, and although I have little knowledge of education in the US, I have noticed a similarly worrying
trend in my own country, the UK - more specifically, Scotland.
I am in my fourth year of secondary school education, and with my first serious exams approaching, beginning in April and May next year, I have come
to the realisation that my more capable classmates and myself have been held back right from the start.
I started school in 1993 at the age of five. The first year of primary school was fairly simple and was barely a step up from nursery school. The
following six years consited of little more than finger painting and learning multiplication tables at the rate of one or two different tables each
year. Primary school was easy, and arguably it should be easy, to allow children to enjoy their youth. But it was also slow, repetative and boring.
Those who would have been able to excell and learn a lot in their early years were stifled by teachers who were under instruction to bring the whole
class down to the level of the least capable students, apparently so that nobody would be "left behind". This system cultivated in me a hatred of
school, and an apathy towards work. This eventually proved not to be problematic, but the way in which I was held back has begun to affect my
secondary education, and many of my classmates agree.
Everyone in my year has to revise and study coursework for examinations in eight subjects. The courses were crammed in over two years, ( third and
fourth year ). The workload has suddenly become much more difficult to balance, and I can't help but think that if I had learned just a little more
basic mathematics, English and science in primary school, the curve wouldn't have become so steep closer to exam time.
Clever, even gifted students achieve far less than they could have, because they just couldn't cope with the dramatic increase in work. These people
are capable of learning, but they simply haven't been taught enough.
What do you all think? Is this deliberate? Are students of state schools being prevented from achieveing as many qualifications and as high grades
as they could? Other than independent learning, which can be difficult for some people, what solutions are there?
And does anyone know what differences exist between private and state schools regarding the subject?