In the year 2020, Kevin Hanley works as a janitor. By 2050, his son is a beggar on the street. How did this happen to Kevin Hanley’s son? This story was just a fictional one, titled “The Fable of the Lazy Teenager” by Ben Stein. It is about the decline of America through the degradation of the American educational system. If the educational system fails, than we will become no better than our ancestors in that we will have no education, and therefore people would be back to the starting block positions of hard manual labor. However, according to James Loewen’s “The Land of Opportunity,” even the educational system is slipping, stating that when he asked questions like, “why are people poor?” he got woefully inadequate responses. In both “The Land of Opportunity” and “Lies My History Teacher Told Me,” both by Loewen, the root cause of most of the problems in schools and their lack of adequate education are the textbooks.
The textbooks are most of the root problem of improper education: these problems include dryness and wrong perspective. Both pieces agree on this. Since textbooks are the required curriculum for the professors, and most of the textbooks are dry and dull, that makes it difficult for the history professors to engage the history students. “Lies My History Teacher Told Me” stated that history is one of the most disliked courses in American high schools, topping even math! Another problem that textbooks run into is that they base themselves off of each other. If one finds something new, then they all update. If another finds a new perspective, then the others include that perspective in their books.
Along with the above mentioned problem, most of the history textbooks have another problem. This problem is not recognizing America as a social status country. Most of the textbooks only mention the middle class only as an assurance to the students that America was and is a middle class country. Only one of the textbooks that were mentioned in both works talked about the three social strati, the high, the middle, and the lower classes, that actually existed in America. This was vitally important to our rise as a country, because the rich provided work for the poor, and the poor made money, making it available to obtain good, quality education for themselves and their children. Their children will then use the education that they received to grasp at higher paying jobs that then starts the cycle all over again.
However, this cycle has a flaw. This flaw is determination. According to Stein’s article, what caused the Kevin in 2050 to become a beggar was a lack of determination on his part and his ancestor’s part. The story tells of a student named Kevin in 1990 who has a dream about his ancestors and their journey to freedom and education and then their digression back to ignorance. The flaw was that as each Kevin was pushed harder and harder by their fathers, the sons promised to not push their sons as hard, thus leading to a drop...