The good news? The influence of these hives of progressive education will decline
We come bearing good news and bad news. First, the bad news. The steep decline in the North American birthrate since the 2008 global recession will have a significant impact on the future of K-12 and post-secondary education. The two-decade delay in demographics dating to 2008 means society is entering a fallow period that will require fewer schools, fewer teachers, and fewer administrators.
Already, funding for brick-and-mortar schools has taken a hit during Covid-19. More and more learning is going online with subsequent loss in teaching jobs for PhDs and Teaching Assistants – especially in the liberal arts. According to Kevin Carey in Vox, “colleges have likely hit a ceiling in terms of how many 18-year-olds they can coax onto campus. The percentage of young adults with a high school diploma has reached 94 per cent. ”
Additionally, the demographic shifts away from non-urban areas will unbalance the learning curve outside the Beltway or southern Ontario. In four years, the number of students graduating from high schools across the country will begin a sudden and precipitous decline due to a rolling demographic aftershock of the Great Recession.
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For those unfamiliar with demographics, the next act in this play is inevitable. Says Carey, “The 2008 global financial calamity also created a bomb with an 18-year fuse: Birth rates immediately reversed course and began to plummet. From the early 1970s until 2007, the number of annual births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 stayed between roughly 65 and 70.
“Starting in 2008, the ratio went down, down, down, to 56 in 2020, the lowest rate in American history. There were 4.3 million births in 2007; last year, there were 3.7 million.” (The slide is about the same in Canada.)
Now calculate the rate of abortions, suicides and assisted deaths into the future of plunging birthrates, and you will see the problem facing many ultra-liberal schools.
The good news is that these hives of progressive education are going to see their pernicious influence decline commensurately. While elite schools with huge endowments might adjust, the rest of the education chain will be hard-pressed to stay open, let alone compete. So the suffocating effect of their radicalism will decline as well.
The satisfaction with seeing Woke idiocy drop will be partially offset by the increasing role of governments – using the tools developed in colleges and universities – to control learning, research and publication. Bill C-11 and C-18 are just two Canadian examples of stifling competition in the information scheme.
Which leaves us with the corrosive legacy of modern education’s dance with death. As Heather Mac donald describes in her book The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture, spineless administrators and politicians have allowed schools to be mobbed by the outer fringes of radical thinking. With the goal of suppressing contrary speech.
Says journalist Matt Taibbi, “Americans who once venerated self-reliance are building a church of conformity, whose chief means of worship is destroying heretics. … As we wrote earlier this week, “The CBS journalists who have long praised Edward R. Murrow’s 1950s defiance of the McCarthy hearings are now all-in with authority.”
As such, the curriculum has morphed from questioners of authority to adherents to a globalist catechism. Most parents blissfully slept through these changes. For example, here are things you never hear from the guilt factories or the governments which follow their diktats.
- North American whites should gladly accept a total cultural transformation from unchecked immigration. But it’s okay for Japan, China, Pakistan, Russia and many other nations to protect their cultures by severely limiting immigration that might dilute centuries-old cultures.
- We have extensive discussions about reparations for the families of African American slaves. We never hear of any comparable compensation to the families of the 360,222 Union soldiers who died in the service of ending that slavery.
- While Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) prophets and the U.S. Justice Department are vigilantly attempting to end meritocracy – changing equal opportunity to equal outcome – no one seems especially bothered that the NFL and NBA are well over 75 per cent black while their number in the total population is 12 to 13 per cent.
- Society must help upper-middle-class post-secondary education graduates by wiping out the tuition debts they ran up. No one in authority seems to feel the same way about those whose plumbing or electrical apprenticeships cost them many thousands of dollars, too.
- All women must be believed unless they’re Conservative Party member Melissa Lastman or Democrat defector Tulsi Gabbard. Then they’re a mountain of lies.
- Universities have forgiven Germany and Japan for the unspeakable crimes they committed 75 years ago. But there is no forgiveness for the events of 160 years ago in America.
- Universities are allegedly oppressors of women, dens of rape and sexual aggression. But nearly 70 per cent of current liberal arts programs are women.
These are but a few of the educational pieties that seem of no interest to the first writers of history, a.k.a. establishment journalists. If they were to look, here’s what Carey says they’ll find: “The empty factories and abandoned shopping malls littering the American landscape may soon be joined by ghost colleges, victims of an existential struggle for reinvention, waged against a ticking clock of shrinking student bodies, coming soon to a town near you.”
Bruce Dowbiggin is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the eighth best professional hockey book by bookauthority.org. His 2004 book Money Players was voted seventh best.
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