Dumbing Down Our Kids

Charles Sykes is the author of DUMBING DOWN OUR KIDS. The following is a list he created for high school and college graduates of things he did not learn in school. In his book, he talks about how the "system" may have created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will not make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you "earn" both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning your room, and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. So before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Dumbing down our kids : Why America's children feel good about themselves but can't read, write, or add.

by Charles J. Sykes

Index Author		sykes charles j
Title			Dumbing down our kids :why America's children feel good about
                        themselves but can't read, write, or add 
Author			Charles J. Sykes
LCCN			95-031522 
Subject			Education, Secondary -- United States -- Evaluation
Subject			Academic achievement -- United States -- Evaluation.
Year			1995
Published in		New York State 
With index		yes
Publisher		New York :St. Martin's Press,1995.
Physical		x, 341 p. ;24 cm.
ISBN			0312134746
Geographic area		United States
Edition statement	1st ed.
Bibliography note	Includes bibliographical references and index.

Last updated: March 31, 2001

Mitch Kutzko