Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Monday, February 27, 2006

When all else fails, lower your standards

I have to write about something in the news today, or this will turn into another "what's going on with my kids" blog.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the educational testing standards that most states have been using are much lower than the federal testing standard set over 30 years ago. Of course, everyone argues that their standard is better; the feds say the states are "dumbing down" the standards, and the states contend the federal standards are "unrealistic." Unrealistic or no, the federal standards are set at a level they believe necessary in order to compete with the rest of the world, which seems to be doing a much better job at educating their kids. And people wonder why the rest of the world is eating our economic lunch?

Education and free trade are the two issues that most bring out my conservatism, and here they both are together. I can't for the life of me understand how people can carp about unrealistic school standards and then turn around and complain about jobs going to India. I may be, by world standards, exceedingly rich, but at least I don't believe I have a right to be rich just because I live in this country. This feels like the beginning of true decadence for our culture -- when society has completely forgotten how we became this rich and powerful to begin with, you can know such prosperity will not last long.


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