A Few Wrongs of American Education

On 22 July 2014, Glen Beck, the ultraconservative talk-show host, took his fight against Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to some 700 movie theaters across the country. Thus, wrong #1:

Mathematics education is influenced by politics, especially right wing politics.

glenn_beckGlen Beck is arguing that since public education is not mentioned in the US Constitution, it is an issue for the state and local governments, not the federal one. Thus, wrong #2:

The content and method of delivery of the education is decided by states and schools.

Wrong #2 leads to the empowerment of parents in the determination of the curriculum. This, coupled with the ineptitude – and therefore, the insecurity – of too many teachers (notably in math and “hard” sciences), leads to wrong #3:

Teachers, uneasy about the possibility of dissatisfaction of parents with the grades of their children, give “A”s indiscriminately!

Nothing can attest to this outrageous grade inflation better than the statement of the mother1 who complains that her daughter had been getting “A”s in algebra all year, but failed the standardized final, and that this kind of failure “breaks her heart.” Thus, wrong #4:

The feelings of students come before the grades they deserve.


  1. See the transcript starting with the third paragraph after AUDIENCE CROSSTALK 

One thought on “A Few Wrongs of American Education”

  1. Dear Prof. Hassani,

    Why have you forgotten Iran and Iranian people? Don’t you want to help to make a better educational system in Iran? Me and many physics student expect such a thing from you and the other real Iranian physics teacher who have understood physics by their heart.

    Best wishes,
    Alireza

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