By James Wilson
The Canberra Times for December 7 – Pearl Harbor Day back home – published the distressing report that Australian high school students are seven months behind their 2006 performance levels in science, a year back in math and reading achievement. The Times was specially concerned over Australia’s Capitol Territory – its home ground. The ACT Education Minister assures there is no cause for concern as all Australia is slipping (this is reassuring?) and ACT has great schools and great teachers. The federal education minister was less politically correct. He stated – bluntly – that spending has increased while results have gone backward since 2003. While committed to fully funding schools, he declared money is neither issue nor answer. He did not identify the answer.
Has it occurred to anyone – in Australia or the United States, where slippage is just as serious – that we are seeing the wages of political correctness? In the past fifteen years the movement for teacher accountability has resulted in layer upon layer of bureaucracy in local schools so that teachers are held to standards into which they had no input, administered by people they do not know. In parallel they have less and less flexibility in tailoring their methods to match students’ needs and abilities. In Australian schools teachers are expected to call an administrator to handle discipline rather than dealing with it themselves; they must simply tolerate bad behavior until and unless the administrator shows up. Does this not create an atmosphere – from year one to the end – in which students are asked to learn from people they are not required to respect? Education is a relational activity; teachers are buffered into virtual irrelevancy in the relational arena.
These same teachers spend countless hours meeting with “experts” on “best practices” whose recommendations need not be implemented by those recommending them. This is an international trend. I hear the same teacher testimonies from the United Kingdom to Malaysia and certainly back in the States. It is small wonder kids have difficulty learning when teachers are forced to deal with executive imposed chaos.
Why call this the wages of political correctness? Because of the total lack of scientific evidence children learn more effectively. Accountability is a sound principle in education. Children do learn better when teachers are held to standards of performance – provided they craft methods and assessment modalities and negotiate objectives themselves. The movement began in this way back in the seventies – I know because I was part of it – later unions allied with government began to micro manage the process. That meant more money, union jobs, and power. The rest is history.
That same imposed chaos is rocking families across the western world in the name of marriage equality. Facts are – according to multiple studies – children brought up in homosexual families are twice as likely to have clinical emotional issues as those from heterosexual homes. The same disparity appears for developmental disabilities, slightly less so for children receiving medical treatment, but three times as high for children prescribed medication for these issues.
I know of no evidence gay men or women are less adept at parenting skills; I make no such claim. The issue is that children need a mother and a father; we are made that way, and no amount of pontificating will change what human children need to become healthy human adults. Yet it is politically correct to say composition of the family is irrelevant. We are paying the price of that groupthink as more and more children suffer and most of us are too cowed to say why.
Global Warming – Climate change if we wish – is yet another arena in which we are perishing for want of knowledge, to paraphrase the Old Testament. Of course it is more accurate to say we have plenty of knowledge on the dynamics of climate but are permitting ourselves to be intimidated into ignoring it. For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration admitted just a year ago – with the advent of more precise measurements of the Antarctic icepack than were previously feasible – the pack is averaging growth – not shrinkage – of around one hundred billion tons yearly since 1992. NASA has been a trumpet for climate change hysteria and the priests of scientism are not backing down because of mere facts, but reality remains the facts do not support this superstition. Small wonder they want to prosecute so-called climate change deniers; the truth – to paraphrase Al Gore – is inconvenient.
Denial of truth in favor of political correctness is expensive in more ways than one. The cost is measurable in multiple fields from lost jobs and productivity to children suffering from parental vanity to working at cross purposes with real issues and opportunities. In terms of climate change alone the obsession with warming leaves us vulnerable to what is actually on the way – a serious global cooling that cannot be the product of human activity and therefore does not generate the power-to-control that is evident in such bogus pacts as the Paris Agreement – successor to the Kyoto Protocols – and so forth.
Denial of the freedom to speak in opposition – so pervasive when the tenets of the religion of scientism are challenged – is far more serious. This denial attacks human personality and dignity at its most fundamental level.
The solution is simple enough; God said it when He caused the writing of His favorite book. Let justice roll like a mighty river. Do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Recognize that when we seek God’s face, hang out with His Son, and honor one another we will come to truth – and be enabled to apply it – without fail. The hour is late but it’s not too late. That’s enough good news to give anyone a good day.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships and The Holy Spirit and the End Times, and Kingdom in Pursuit – available at local bookstores or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org