When I was a kid, there was a huge Cold War-inspired math, science, and physical education push. It wasn’t quite my bag but it made a lot of sense and quite possibly paid off in many ways. Why is there not one now? I don’t get it.
I’ve been grinding on the front end of this question for a long time, relentlessly pointing out that the math and science projects were HUGE LOSSES for our overall skills. It didn’t pay off in any positive way, unless you acknowledge that the sole purpose of school is to select likely candidates for PhD programs and repel everyone else.
The PE part was definitely not my bag, and it was also a NEGATIVE contribution for me, probably not for others. Gym class was torture, giving me a lifelong distaste for any sort of exercise that resembled sports or calisthenics. I continued biking and walking, activities that weren’t ruined by gym class.
I never stopped to ask why we didn’t repeat the effort. Common Core was a genuine attempt to move education in the CORRECT direction, but it didn’t have any impact. Teachers are overloaded with real work plus a thousand nonsensical bureaucratic tasks, so they didn’t have any spare mental effort to change their basic mode from memorizing to training. The teacher union stoutly resisted Common Core even though it had the Obama brand.
And needles to say, our most recent educational response to a fake manufactured “crisis” was to close the schools for a year and strangle the students for two years. Gym class was figurative torture for nerds like me; strangulation is LITERAL NAZI TORTURE FOR EVERYONE.