Sunday, July 17, 2005

From The Mouths of Babes

It should be the other way around, but according a national survey of teenagers conducted by the National Governors Association, a large majority of high school students say their class work is not very difficult, and almost two-thirds say they would work harder if courses were more demanding or interesting. It is normally kids complaining of schoolwork as too hard & adults asking them to try a little harder.

Of drop outs & those considering dropping out, only one in nine cited the reason as "school work too hard", while 36% said they were "not learning anything," & 24 percent gave the reason as, "I hate my school."

Fewer than two-thirds, of the students surveyed, believed that their school had done a good job challenging them academically or preparing them for college.

Given the less that pleasing results of Program for International Student Assessment, as well as the International Math & Science Test Series, the need to reform our education system is more obvious than ever. This is no doubt a reason for the majority of the graduate students at most science & engineering departments being of foreign, in addition to international students making up 17% of all graduate students.

The global economy of today requires kids who can compete with those of other nations. Doing so requires that they be taught relevant & useful material in class not feel good subjects like ethnomathematics. Meanwhile, the top ten priorities of the National Education Association, include #2. fighting Wal-Mart, #4. adding "multiethnic" and "other" as options on ethnicity questions, #5. celebrating the 40th anniversary of the NEA and ATA, #8. requesting an article for the newsletter on "health problems from exposure to fragrance chemicals". While the NEA is ensuring that no teacher is left behind, our nation's children are paying the price of unionization & political indoctrination.

When the students are complaining that school is not hard enough you know there is a problem!! This comes as no surprise to me though--look at the grade inflation problem at Harvard University where the overwhelming majority of students show us how "easy" it is to get an "A". This is more evidence of the insiduous effectof our elites' worship of self-confidence at the expense of competition.

Thanks for the link!
Teachers, like myself, also have to deal with the pressure from administrators to make sure that not too many of our students fail. When the job is on the line, and little concern for the teacher from the outside, you can see where teachers give in to mediocrity.
We can only blame ourselves for allowing the public education system to become what it is today, thanks largely to education, in general, being handed to the Left during the 1980s. All but gone are the days of advanced placement courses for the smart kids and remedial classes for the dumb ones. No, in an attempt to avoid hurt feelings and to promote a feeling of "we're ALL special," kids of all abilities and potentials are thrown into the same classrooms, the end result being that the pace of the entire class can only progress as fast as the 'slowest learner' (read: dumbest kid) in the room.

In other countries, if your kid doesn't excel in school, they are permanently expelled, destining them to a life of labor in the rice paddies.
Pressure that students don't fail huh? I think that pressure should be on the kids as much as the teacher. Sad state we are in.
Did you read in the article where Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) was 'surprised' at the survey results?

I'm not surprised by the results or his reaction. The libs have been doing everything to turn public education into public babysitting for thirty flippin' years. As Aaron says, when even the KIDS think it's too easy, we've got a problem.

I say disband the public schools and give the tax money back to the people so they can send their kids to decent private schools... or not, as they wish.
I went to college in New York. Professors were pressured to give passing grades to students, who were basically, too stupid to be in college. The administrations are more concerned about money than academic standards.

It always amazed me how stupid some of my fellow students were, as if I'm that bright to start with.

Of course when some subjects are easy to pass, there are always the students who cannot be bothered to work, or even turn up for classes.
As you guys point out in your excellent comments I did forget to mention the other factors involved such as parents & the school administrations.
That is the reason I am in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act. If the kids fail to score well on the test, the administration sould be changed & parents should be given vouchers. Just like for any other sector, competition is a healthy thing.
We also need to so something about pushy parents & worship of hollow self-esteem.
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