Working Moms Didn't Ruin Education
[Editor's Note: On Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant commented that America's schools became mediocre when mothers started entering the workforce. As you can imagine, a lot of women don't agree. Michelle at Balancing Jane is one of those women who disagrees with Bryant -- and she's also a Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric. Here's a little of what Michelle says. --Grace]
In Rhetoric and Reality, James Berlin explains that colleges have been trying to say that high schools aren't preparing students well enough for decades and decades. In fact, using their measures, high schools have never prepared students well enough, if "well enough" means that they don't need any writing instruction once they enter college. This has never been the case. Ever.
It is easy to blame education for all kinds of failures. This is not to say that there aren't problems in the current educational system (more on that in a minute) or that we shouldn't constantly try to make it better (more on that in a minute, too), but I think that any discussion of the "mediocrity" of American education is placed into the proper context. In this case, that means understanding that we have always considered it mediocre. There are no "good ole days." There are only romanticized misrememberings of times that never existed.