Friday, February 8, 2008

Timmy's in the educational well, and trust us, money will get him out!

Taxes, taxes, taxes. Some random notes:

I recently paid the balance of my part of my school district's earned income tax. Talk about a tax that descriminates against the poor and multi-income, out of town jobbers.... It's the kinda thing that makes that there flat/sales tax look good, don't it?

And, maybe I'm just a little sore, having just paid my share of the SDEIT for a school system that will provide more failures for Com1 next year.

We're seeing a majority of kids from "good" schools who can look up study notes online and copy them into a Word file, but can't solve math problems without a calculator, tell an adjective from an adverb, and many times don't know verb from noun.

And I admit we don't see the brightest (they leave the state), but these are kids with 3+ GPAs from LOCAL schools.

And tax-wise, they always need a new school building. And we are Oh-so-happy to oblige... year after year.

Fine, here's the deal:

One of the signs of failure of our public high schools is the need for beginning Com courses in college, so....

You can have ten new buildings if you can promise us that every one of the children (It's all for "the children", ain't it? Not the administrators or the union, right?) can add, subtract, multiply and divide WITHOUT a calculator or computer or cell phone, etc....

And it would be wonderful if they could diagram a sentence when they enter classes at college with their 3.something GPA (And how the **** did they get that? It must have been the old school building's Karma.), so that we don't have to teach them "remedial" Com in sophomore year after they flunk both the test-out and freshman year Com1.

Cliches are identified as such because they are generally true, right?

Well here's the cliche: "You can't fix our education system by throwing money at it." But don't tell the NEA that and don't tell that to the people who live in "rich" districts or make their living in the system.

I've seen teachers and school board members asked what it would take to make education better in their system, and every time the answer is "more money". Somewhere down the line, some old fogey will reply "Parent involvement?", and everybody will roll their eyes and stick their hands out.

The average graduating senior is less educated than twenty years ago. Just give one a basic math test and reading skills test.

The "system" is nothing but a sponge.

My much, much better half (who disagrees with me on this, as she IS an NEA member) teaches writing and art at a local college. The kids entering college (Admittedly this is in Ohio, and at a State school, so it is an indictment of only our Ohio public schools.) may be technologically ahead of those 20yrs.ago, but who isn't?

In basic writing, reading and math skills, the AVERAGE college freshman is way behind one of 20 yrs.ago.

Many of these kids have to be taught how to write sentences and paragraphs BEFORE you show them the basics of whatever class you are teaching, just so they can have the bare chance to complete the assignments.

More on this as I get wound up....

And, there seems to be a “school” of teachers who adhere to a new-fangled style of teaching that actually ignores these mistakes in grammar “as long as the student gets their message across in a clear and concise manner”. These teachers are compounding the problem. Their very argument is an oxymoron.

Here’s link to an article on the subject:


Chuck said...

I teach courses at a community college that involve economics and statistics. I can say with a fair degree of certainty that 80% of my adult students are miserably lost in those subjects.

jackscrow said...

I occasionally try to make a point that one of the signs of failure of our public high schools is the need for Com courses.

As it is, a huge number of students are forced to take remedial courses that are actually designed for people who never graduated HS, or are retraining....

Even those who somehow test out of beginning Com have to be crash taught to write at a minimum level to do their assignments, which takes away valuable class time.

buckblog said...

I enjoy seeing some of the emails I get from supposedly well educated coworkers or memos from management.

At least they should teach them to activate spell check