Home > Current Events, School > I sense a disturbance in the educational force…

I sense a disturbance in the educational force…

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

For those of you who may not be aware, that grammatically-raped statement came from the mouth of Former President George W. Bush.  I was horrified when he was elected the first time, but after his re-election I mentally expatriated for four years.  The leader of the “free world” needs to be a shining example of that world, showing to everyone that he or she embodies the best the country has to offer.  Sadly, he did showcase what America had to offer… it just wasn’t the best or the brightest.

But, I digress…

I knew that public schools were in trouble before Bush Jr. was elected, while I was still attending high school in Southern California.  Luckily, I graduated the year before they instituted the exit exam program, which required every student to answer questions about everything they were expected to have learned before graduation.  Since most of my classmates considered themselves fortunate enough to get through English class with a “C”, my expectations for the Class of 2001’s contributions to the world were fairly low.  I waited a few years before deciding to attend University of Phoenix‘s classes online, hoping to get my degree in teaching.

My online classmates will never be allowed to teach my children.

It’s not that I’m saying these people don’t have the intelligence to become teachers.  I’m saying they’re too damned lazy to speak or type the English language properly and should therefore never be allowed in front of a class full of minds ready for molding.  I’m sorry, people, but if your idea of a correct sentence as part of a response in college is: I speaked to her and tryed to explane my ways of thinking things before she told me that I was rong and an I wouldn’t never get her ways of thinkin things so we called the talk quits and that was that so I can’t finish my asinemant…  /headdesk

I shit you not. I had to peer review that specific sentence last year.

I have a hard enough time accepting that these individuals are allowed to continue onto college courses, let alone into courses designed to prepare one for becoming a teacher in a public school.  Not only were they allowed into classes above remedial level, they were also granted access to a second year.  I’d be angry at UoP for letting their standards sink so low if not for the fact that I’ve met “college graduates” in person in Southern California that would barely qualify in an elementary school spelling bee… as adults.  It’s apparent that the lowering of standards is a national problem.

Forget No Child Left Behind… they’ve already been left, forgotten, and are being ignored in favor of a “fresh start” in statistics.  Kids are being pushed through school based on test scores, and with teachers encouraged to “teach to test” (basically, only teaching the answers to the questions on the tests as they are presented), more and more kids are being shuffled out of public schools with little to no reading and writing skills, no knowledge of world events prior to the Backstreet Boys’ breakout album, and the belief that pi is made with apples, blueberries, or cherries.

I don’t agree with everything this article says, but this article in The Freeman, in 1993, best expresses a lot of my thoughts on public education in America. Yes, the article is 17 years old, but not a whole lot has changed. Test scores improving doesn’t mean our children are learning, Mr. Bush… it simply means that the carrot-stick approach has taught the teachers that they’ll keep their jobs if their students can learn how to pass a test. Retention isn’t really a factor.

Unfortunately, in a country that has spent decades looking for the easy fix to all its problems, we’re so deep in the hole when it comes to everything that matters that I don’t see how we could dig ourselves out of this one.  This country has become obsessed with looking good on paper and not actually having the goods to back it up. That accounts for the financial situation we’re in, the celebutantes that aren’t even worth the fifteen minutes most of them are getting, and our educational system.

It also explains how that man got into office.

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Categories: Current Events, School
  1. NK
    September 14, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    That was an interesting article. Clearly your classmate was not just uneducated, but also ignorant of spell check. My question is, as a future educator, what solutions do you propose? What do you propose?

    • September 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm

      That’s a tough question for me to answer. Clearly our educational system is in need of a severe knock upside the head, but I don’t really know what the first knock should consist of yet… Our classmates when you and I were in school barely gave a crap about learning then, and in my opinion they care even less now. It’s all about what’s seen on paper and how you can spin those results in your favor, these days… but what I would do as an educator? I have no clue, since the educational system is too bogged down by red tape from the federal government who wants great numbers so they can pat themselves on the back, and by tenured teachers who stopped giving a shit five years into their careers and are threatened by the idea of change.

      All I know is that, as a student and a parent, I’m appalled.

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