A reader, Denis Ian, left the following comment, which is a thought that has often occurred to me. If our public schools are as terrible as the reformers say, how did we get to be a great world power? If our kids are as dumb as Arne Duncan says, why does our nation produce so many Nobel Prize winners? Why do reformers sound like they live in a failed state? Why don’t they move to France or Bermuda?

Denis Ian writes:

“If some lonesome alien just floated into this nation … and had only the Common Core pronouncements as a guide … they’d immediately assume that they were now stuck in some bottom-of-the-barrel country populated by a species that was about an inch beyond bacteria on the evolutionary scale.

“This is their tiresome ploy. Failure is all around … and we’re all too, too oblivious to see all of this with our very own eyes … because near-bacteria hasn’t that sort of sophistication. If all of this were true, we’d all be packing our trunks and marching off to blissful lives in Guatemala or Mali or Nepal. I guess we’re too stupid to even move. That must be it, right?

“What’s so stunning to me is the fact that so many of us are still here … and that our miserable, failing nation is the most desired destination on the planet. All of which begs certain questions that are never, ever addressed by the Common Core corps.

“Here’s the real mystery … How has America maintained its premier economic circumstances when we are populated by such uneducated dolts? How is that this nation is ground zero for all sorts of medical innovations … and that people from the Arab world and Asia and Europe zoom here for medical treatment? Oh! And why are our universities the most desired in the world? And can they explain the happy accident why we have the best standard of living the world has ever experienced? Help me out here, will ya?

“How is it that our military is the most technologically advanced? And what explains the fact that we produce enough food-stuffs to feed ourselves … and vast portions of the world? I’m stumped why we’re the first to offer emergency services when disaster strikes around the globe … and folks seem numb to the USA insignia on replacement equipment, food, and supplies. Did I fail to mention the doctors, engineers, and EMT professionals we send as well?

“That’s a lot of very dumb folks doing some miraculous things.

“Now, to our schools. Something’s wrong, alright. Our schools don’t behave according to the Common Core observations. Our public school faculties are some of the most credentialed on the planet.These public schools lay the foundation that has made America the most recognized Nobel prize producing nation of all-time. No country has ever been so inventive as America. None. We lead in medical inventions and innovations … the same for computer technologies … as well as for mechanical innovations of all sorts. Man, those dumb Americans are the luckiest folks the world’s ever seen!

“These failing public schools have produced world-renown playwrights, artists, actors, musicians, vocalists, and authors of all sorts. These dreadful public schools have given rise to admired engineers and architects and urban planners. They’ve yielded ship designers and astronauts … and the vessels they use to speed around space. We accidentally put men on the moon and recently bumped into Pluto. Ooops! Hope that mistake doesn’t happen again! … some folks will be very embarrassed.

“I hate to mention our political maturity, but I have to. I know we’re supposed to be extremely basic thinkers according to those gifted Common Core pushers, but what explains the relative historical, non-violent political experience in America? We don’t lop off the noggins of lousy rulers. We don’t have a coup every other full moon. And we have dozens of nations world-wide that have modeled themselves after our political foundations. We’d better call them with the bad news that we’re not worth emulating. We’re failures.

“Apologies for the over-the-top sarcasm, but lots and lots of very fine people have had their reputations battered by these frauds who premise that American schools are huge disasters. It’s time to get in their faces …

“It’s ironic that even these asinine Common Core critics cannot give credit to the very experience that allowed their fertile minds to crank out such a creative and embellishing litany of lies. What ungrateful failures!”