Researchers affiliated with the One Laptop Per Child initiative dropped boxes full of Motorola Xoom tablets off in two remote Ethiopian villages, pretty much just to see what would happen.
Kids of around first-grade age opened the boxes. The kids figured out how to turn the tablets on. And then the kids started learning–not just about the machines (they were soon customizing their own home-screen configurations and hacking their way around the camera restrictions), but also about music and English-language words.
All without teachers or instruction of any kind.
Read the brief but fascinating story at MIT Technology Review.
OK, so, here in Florida legislators have passed a bill that will tie a teacher’s income to the performance of their students, and prosecutors hard-balling 18-year-old high school students for having felonious sex with willing underage participants. In Wisconsin, they’ve got a new law providing guidelines for sex education that include information about contraception, and a District Attorney warning educators that they could be charged with a crime for mentioning birth control.
All of this, mind you, in the course of a single news day last week.
These stories are just the latest few inches on the mountainous pile of evidence that America has completely absolved its incompetent parents of any culpability for producing dumb, damaged, deranged offspring. If somebody’s 17-year-old snowflake breaks into your house, and you hurt him, you’re far more likely to be sued or arrested than you are to see any recompense for your own trauma. We’re seeing a pattern of governmental action sending the message that abdication of responsibility is acceptable; apparently, it’s a foregone conclusion that some folks are just too stupid or absent to teach their children the basics, and the legislature needs to step in to keep them from being a danger to the body politic.
So yeah, a lot of you parents out there are incompetent, and you’re being coddled by one of the few governments on the planet that still believes it can mitigate abject idiocy. It can’t, of course — it’s still arguing the same pressing issues it began to address toward the end of the Civil War — and so the responsibility will inevitably fall upon those entities it always does: Corporations.
Hell, they raise your dumb kids already anyways.
Read the rest at CL …