Well I'm here to report that the ukulele is the new recorder, and I for one could not be happier about it.
First and foremost, a ukulele is inherently more tolerable than a recorder. Even when played correctly (which is rare), 20 third graders blowing Hot Cross Buns into saliva-drenched recorders reflexively sends the hands of everyone in earshot straight to their ears. By contrast, it's hard to make a ukulele sound unbearably bad, even when 100 kids hit all the wrong notes at once.
Second, the ukulele prepares kids for beneficial social interactions later in life. Who whips out a recorder or a flute at a party or bonfire? Answer: no one.
Any young adult who plays the flute (or worse, the recorder) in public is guaranteed to lose all their friends but never their virginity. Learning to play the ukulele, though, basically ensures your child's popularity as that person with an acoustic guitar who can be relied upon to bust out any three-chord, soft rock ballad on demand.
Third, as I note above, recorders look like dicks and ukuleles don't.
You'll never see three 14 year-old girls--all of whom just finished furtively reading the same tattered copy of "Forever" by Judy Blume--cackling and emulating fellatio on a ukulele, or daring each other to lock themselves in the bathroom, put a ukulele in their no-no, and report back on the results to determine what sex feels like.
Not that I've ever heard of this happening with a recorder, mind you. I'm just saying. It COULD happen. In THEORY. Not so with a ukulele, whose shape, needless to say, is all wrong for such questionable experiments.
Thus, at a time when the whole world seems topsy turvy and all seems lost, at least one thing is going right: The ukulele is phasing out the recorder, and if that's not progress my friends, nothing is.