Ashley Mendez Robert Reeves English 115-80 3 March 2013 The educational system in America is deteriorating, which has lead students to failure and unrealized potential. Conversely, in Mike Rose’s essay, “I Just Wanna Be Average” he describes not only the problems with Vocational Education, but the effects it has on kids who spend their entire educational career in Voc. Ed. In Michael Moore’s essay, “Idiot Nation” he argues that the failures of the educational system and the lack of financing has been caused by the politics and the people who vote for them.
Moore’s essay is more persuasive because he adopts a tone dripping with sarcasm and true passion for his cause. Mike Rose, in his anecdotal essay on education, describes not only the problems with Vocational Education, but the effects it has on students who spend their entire educational careers in these types of classes, who like himself, as a result of a high standardized test score allowed to take higher-level classes with more competent teachers. He illustrates these points by describing coping mechanisms that students develop to make up for their lack of a (real education).
He also states that those who are knowledgeable, that they are (in the bottom) of the class, will be for the rest of their lives. Instead of receiving a higher education than average to make up for their learning disabilities, they receive a less-than-average education from under-qualified teachers. Rose also points out that the impact a teacher has on his or her students is very powerful. He states “students will float to the mark you set” (164) students will work harder if their teachers set the standards high.
Throughout his excerpt, Rose shows through numerous examples that teachers are a vital part to a student’s success in life. Seeing Rose’s credibility in his story this quote was mentioned “I see nothing (in proposed regulations) for people striving for higher standards” meaning that he doesn’t see any reasoning to put all these rules and situations on someone’s plate if they are trying to better themselves or pushing for higher standards. Rose also clearly believes that every single student have a right and can reach their maximum potential, and rise to heir own expectations Rose’s purpose, therefore, is to bring to light the problems with this program and others like it to try to catalyze some change. He appeals to his audience by using cutting expression usage and conveying through irony and emotional appeal. Moore brings to light his view on the failures of the educational system and the lack of financing that has been caused from Politicians as well as American corporations contribute to the decline in education. His first major line of attack is the failed United States education system.
Taking educational institutions at the federal municipal to a private level. Lamenting libraries without adequate books and modernized computer devices. Naming some United States Presidents that lacked knowledge of world geography. Arguing that the most powerful leader in the free world (an American president) should be knowledgeable about all 200 non-aligned and United Nations confederation member states. Moore mesmerizes his audience by presenting horrifying facts about the “state of stupidity in this country” (156). The facts that Moore presents are very effective due to the shocking nature of them.
Early in the text Moore illustrates his point presenting, “There are forty-four million Americans who cannot read and write above a fourth-grade level—in other words, who are functional illiterates” (154). This stuns the reader, who would have ever thought that in a country like this, that many Americans could be, well stupid. He goes on to give another statistic that Americans, on average, read only 99 hours a year and watch television 1,460 hours a year. By throwing these astonishing facts at the reader early on, Moore builds up the trust of his readers and also holds their attention. Teachers are evaluated yearly in most municipalities.
Tenured teaching career are being phased out. Therefore, Moore combines logical and emotional appeals when speaking on the devastating nature of the condition of some of America’s schools. Throughout the text, Moore uses harsh diction to get his point across. To some readers this may be offensive but when combined with the facts that Moore presents it makes his argument more convincing and powerful. The techniques Moore uses to make his argument convincing are very effective. The logical and emotional appeals as well as his harsh diction persuade the reader to agree with Moore in his argument on the stupidity and ignorance of the nation.