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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Remedial classes

This is pathetic. There is so much wrong in this story about how unprepared high school graduates are for college it's depressing. One student "took hard classes as a high school junior but spent much of her senior year in an 'on-job training' class that included working as a department store clerk." What?? This crap exists? That's not school, that's called "being an effective dropout." How can schools rationalize letting a student simply work as a senior instead of requiring real classes?

Almost half of high school graduates tested at the "adult basic" level in math, which means dealing with whole numbers and fractions -- in other words, junior high stuff. Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with the apparent fact that math isn't required when you are a senior?

When shown student essays and asked whether they were college material, five out of six high school teachers said yes. No college instructors said yes. Why? Because the standards for high school teachers were based on the state's basic skills writing test, which only requires a few paragraphs that have a beginning, middle, and end. Don't set the bar too high there!

All schools should require math every year. Science every year. English every year. Social studies every year. At least two years of a foreign language, preferably more. Nobody should be able to go through their senior year or any other year of high school without taking a math class, a science class, an English class, and some kind of social studies class. The thought that we are giving diplomas to people who haven't done these things is disgusting. We aren't preparing students for the real world when we allow schools to have disturbingly low expectations.

2 Comments:

At 6:22 PM, August 07, 2006, Blogger Justin C. Adams said...

We need to invest a lot more in education. We need to send every child to high-quality preschool, and get an early start on skills like foreign languages, basic math, and basic reading. We also need to give kids an incentive to excell as highschoolers.

I grew up in Edina. My dad was a self-employed wedding photographer, and until the digital camera drove up printing costs, we did well enough to own a two bedroom there, but we did not do well enough to also save for college for three kids.

I worked hard and took Advanced Placement classes, but I got on a deferred list at my second choice, Vanderbilt. By the time I was accepted, the university's financial aid was exhausted, and I went to the University of Minnesota.

I was very lucky to grow up where I did. In those public schools, there are very high expectations for students and enough resources to help the students reach them. Many students are not as fortunate as I was.

I agree wholeheartedly that the bar needs to be set high. As a person who only took math through advanced algebra, I think it is important that students have flexibilty in their schedules, too. If we required eng, soci, lang, math, sci of every student every year, they would be forced to choose between economics or political science, european history or band.

I personally believe we should fully fund public education for every minnesotan from age three to age twenty three. Then there would be enough time to teach all these subjects and more.

Only thing is, it needs to be paid for with income taxes, or the property tax increase will cause instability in home enviroments for these same students.

 
At 3:21 PM, August 12, 2006, Blogger logan said...

It will be very long time before system of education is reversed from it's mass production, factory oriented, creative thinking killing fundamentals.

Some, not so known, details here:

http://www.thememoryhole.org/edu/school-mission.htm

Also the results of analysis in a book published in 2001:
http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm

 

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