Arne Duncan would have you believe math, science, and technological courses are THE paths for students to succeed. Patrons of the arts bemoan the cuts taking place in music and visual arts. English teachers are concerned that fictional readings are being phased out in favor of non-fiction; there's no time to read for pleasure or to tweak creative thinking.
Shop classes are a blast from the past as technical, hands on skills are frowned upon in this era of computerization. Even though we're told that childhood obesity is a pervasive problem in the United States, physical education classes are being cut because the new assessments are taking too much time for children to play.
Some education gurus insist classes be taught for:
- healthy eating
- sex education
- diversity training
It seems as if every group has its own agenda for what's important for human capital. These small human capital widgets need to perform and be trained for the workforce so they can become productive workers for the Department of Education, Department of Labor, and Department of Health and Human Services. Happy and productive workers mean a happy and productive country. Does this sound a bit like China's view of its citizens?
It does to me. A child's individuality and personality is being wiped away for the efficiency and good of the country and a specific agenda. In the quest to never be judgmental toward anyone (regardless of behavior or actions) and being raised by parents and in a society with this same attitude, students are lacking an important skill. What is that missing quality in some students that is all important in 'life skills'? According to a state school in England, these students have not learned...manners.
The school has decided that etiquette must be taught to state students not to necessarily give them a moral center and to treat others as they would like to be treated (I suppose that's too much like the Golden Rule)...it's to make them more employable.
Students will learn such skills as:
- dressing for success
- how to eat properly
- clear speech and voice training
In fact, there are etiquette lessons for three year olds in Britain to ensure proper behavior as they grow up so they can become useful citizens. From a commenter on etiquette lessons for the 16 year olds: