A perception borne out

About a month ago, commenting on comments about what has happened in American education, I wrote here at NPJ:

It helps explain why younger kids seem so much brighter than high school seniors who seem so much brighter than college students. It’s a systematic and forced declension from unbroken to half-broken to broken.

Go on back to that link for other links that will elucidate what led me to make that comment.

But here is Ann Coulter writing today about the declension I was writing about but leaving out the results from American universities:

It turns out that being in U.S. public schools has the same effect on people as hanging around Paris Hilton does.

In fourth grade, the earliest grade for which international comparisons are available, American students outperform most other countries in reading, math and science. Fourth-graders score in the 92nd percentile in science, the 58th percentile in math and the 70th percentile in reading, where they beat 26 of 35 countries, including Germany, France and Italy.

But by the eighth grade, American students are only midrange in international comparisons. (On the plus side, by the eighth grade they’re noticeably fatter.)

By the 12th grade — after receiving the full benefits of an American education — Americans are near the bottom. Let X represent the number of years spent in U.S. public schools, and Y represent average test scores in math and reading — oh, never mind.

With an additional eight years of a public school education under their belts, Americans fall from the 92nd percentile in science to the 29th percentile. While American fourth-graders are bested only by South Korea and Japan in science, by 12th grade, the only countries the American students can beat are Lithuania, Cyprus and South Africa.

Unless you are precariously sensitive, the rest of Coulter’s column is hilarious. The column isn’t all about American public education. That’s just where it ends up. Reading it from the top I was nearly blown out of my seat when she got to her first punch line, about the Speaker of the House, which is the best way I’ve ever heard that awful truth delivered.

Ann is just brutal today:

As with the Clintons, Obama so earnestly believes in public school education that he sends his girls to … an expensive private school. He demands that taxpayers support the very public schoolteachers he won’t trust with his own children.

It is one thing to tell voters that school choice is wrong, because, you know, the public schools won’t get better unless Americans sacrifice their children to the teachers’ union’s maw. But it is quite another for Democrats to feed their own kids to the union incinerator.

The good news is that parents are apparently sending pretty bright kids off to school. The bad news is that the years spent in those schools eventually wear the kids down, and they are returned to the parents at the end as relative morons.

And I guess my message to the parents is, no, it’s not your imagination.

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