Annie Dear: Don't let the 'Rocket Scientists' dumb us down

Annie Dear
The Independent Aussie
Annie Dear

And now for the latest news from the Rocket Scientist Association of America. 

You know, my husband, Sir, has a theory, that there are three types of people in the world – other than we normal, rational, sane, logical human beings. There are pinheads, who know nothing. There are knuckleheads who think they know something, but don’t really at all and are very belligerent about it.  And then there are rocket scientists (with apologies to your actual rocket scientists) who think they know everything about positively everything, but in fact know less than both the pinhead and the knucklehead combined. 

Our latest rocket scientific idea comes out of Baltimore where it’s thought that we should lower standards for both students and teachers. That there should be a new grading policy that will allow this particular school district to “move tens of thousands of students who have failed at last one class” up to the next grade level. 

Universities, such as Washington State, UC Berkley and Brown to name a few, are eliminating SAT and ACT standardized exams in case these upset potential intakes. 

Now call me a reactionary, but seeing the United States sit in a very mediocre 36th place out of 65 developed countries in math, science and reading, it seems to me a tad bloody stupid to be talking about lowering standards. A mere 20 years ago, we sat proudly at numero uno. Oh, as the Bible tells us, how the mighty have fallen. 

In striving not to hurt anyone’s feelers (sic), on a bi-partisan vote, in 2001 the then President Bush signed into law “No Child Left Behind.” 

Now I would be the first to commend this sentiment, but there has to be a point when dragging down the rest of the class – school, university, community, state, country – has to be examined for its efficacy. 

There are a million reasons why a child may not be performing well at school.  You name it: anything from problems at home, bullying, mental capacity – down to abject laziness brought about by your average teenage eye-rolling “what’s the point in learning algebra” type of attitude. These can all contribute to lowered grades, but for the most part, particularly to annoy AOC, kids can be coerced into pulling themselves up by their bootstraps to do better. 

Taking away cell phones, standing in the corner, sitting on the naughty step, going to your room and thinking about it, grounding for the next 25 years – these do actually work. 

We, as parents, were not put on this earth to be our children’s best friends, but to be guiding lights to a hopefully bright future.  

And a bleak future it will be if kids of today can graduate high school without being able to adequately read, critically think for themselves, do simple division in their heads, or write a complete sentence. 

No more participation trophies. Let kids learn what it’s like to lose. Let them know how to win with grace. Make them aware that pride in their own accomplishments is worth more than gold.  

So, please, dear school boards, stop with this Dumbing Down of America stance.  You can’t see past the noses on your faces if you won’t see now how this is contributing to the Fall of the American Empire. 

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at