Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Schools, or Top Students?

Our town's kids are doing well in school; our neighbors', not so much — Upstate School Rankings Put Pittsford First, Rochester Last.

I heard Jonathan Kozol's shuck and jive routine live as an undergrad two decades ago, and bought into The Narrative, but now, a graduate degree in education, more than fifteen years' teaching experience, and two kids later, I do not see kids entering school tabula rasa ready to be filled with knowledge like sponges. Sorry, I'm an IQ realist. You can only work with what they bring to the table. Pittsford, New York is full of smart, successful people. Is it any wonder their genetic offspring are also smart and successful? Sorry, Mr. Kozol, I have become an IQ realist.

Nota bene, this is a statement of reality, not a value statement. Smarts and success are not coequal with wisdom and virtue, and are more often than not opposed to each other. Our society falsely honors smarts and success, rather than wisdom and virtue. To say some individuals possess these former qualities more than others is an affront to polite society, i.e. The Cathedral, whose members falsely think themselves smart and wise, but who have a wrong concept of success and no concept of virtue.

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