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While reading and commenting on other posts, and in American life in general, I've noticed a dramatic decline in American educational standards. Has our society become so watered down that no one wants to challenge themselves intellectually anymore? It's not restricted to students - educators and parents share the blame as well. Actually, they likely share the bulk of the blame.
I graduated high school in 1975. By my senior year, I was reading and analyzing Faust in German, writing computer programs (we had a pilot computer science program), and studying Calculus. I was well prepared for my future when I graduated. Oh yeah, I had time for a girlfriend and athletics (baseball) as well.
The deterioration of American education has had the direct result of letting the world pass us by.
IMHO, we need to set the highest standards and expectations for our youth. They deserve it, and we, as a nation, need their leadership in decades to come.
Standards such as dress codes, hair styles, etc. are silly. My high school had no such rules (although nudity was prohibited). My high school administration was more concerned about the academic and socially responsible product they were sending into the world, and often embraced individuality.
We are not (thank God) created equal. Some of us have talents in some areas and little talent in others (myself included). Educators today wish to produce a rather bland and homogeneous product.
Be creative, challenge yourself (I still do), and aim as far as you wish. You may never get there, but it will be a fun ride.....
My rant for the week. Discuss....

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As a senior in High school now, I can personally attest to some of the attempts by the US gov't to improve the standard of education. Such as the No Child Left Behind Act. This attempt to set standards only phails. It creates resentment in the student body and a resulting lack of enthusiasm for learning. I agree eucation is in the shitter, but I don't believe the solution to be higher standards, but better teachers with higher level of learning. Ill get back to this I have to leave...so hold that thought! :P
Are you setting high standards for yourself? Are you pushing your limits? It comes from within. I insisted to my guidance counselor that I take the toughest curriculum I could. I had yearly arguments with her from grade 8 though grade 12. I only needed 2 classes in my Senior year to graduate, but at my insistance, I took 6.

And I personally think many teachers don't challenge their students anymore. They use the same class notes year after year, taking the easy way out. Fortunately I had teachers who, for the most part, loved to encourage thoughtful debate re subject matter whether it be the analysis of a classic novel or the proof of a mathematical theorem. And they were thrilled when someone came up with a new or different perspective. I still like to think 'out of the box'. I don't think most teachers are bad educators, but the system so regulated that they can't teach creatively. God forbid someone be offended. Oops, can't say 'God' in school anymore, either.

The US isn't trying to improve education; they are only setting standards. Standards don't educate - thinking does.
I completely concur and am proud to say, yes I am challenging myself. I am currently enrolled in 3 AP classes (college credit classes) and 2 CP (College Preparatory) and 2 electives that do not have such titles (Flash Animation and Civic Responsibility). And while I find my AP teachers to be more than adequate (in order to prepare us for AP testing, we get long lectures...which can be bad but they usually find ways to make them interesting), my CP teachers only do the bare minimum. They don't encourage us to dig deeper, as a matter of fact they almost seem annoyed by a student who might not know the answer. My calculus teacher would just put the answers on the board, tell us to collaborate amongst ourselves and then wed move on. Of course this works like shit because the person next to you might not have the right answer and how are we to know? So to me, I still believe we need teachers who actually teach not just lecture/ fly through material. Maybe if the AP classes were a bit more interactive I might have that solid A...
I'm glad you started this one Bob, its a good topic

The American Education system of today has failed us as a generation... in this day and age with the global economy crisis jobs are getting harder to find and jobs that are here in the nation are becoming more selective, some even upping the qualifications for such positions.

The question is: "Are American Schools upping THEIR standards and curriculum to make American students more marketable?" the answer is NO... Schools are under-funded, in my state of Oklahoma we shamefully boast one of the lowest salaries for teachers in the public school system. Requirements to graduate are so very low here too. Even the Advanced Placement classes and Honors Courses aren't challenging enough for most students... I took mostly honors and AP classes, fell asleep in all of them (i am not joking) and still managed to graduate with a diploma and a good GPA to get admitted into college.

Instead of challenging the minds of students and getting them to think for themselves, they waste precious time and resources debating over issues like uniforms, and whether or not kids can wear tshirts with beer logos on them. Fuck it who cares? put those time and resources into paying teachers more, give them an incentive to do their job well and stay in their state to teach instead of leaving for better states (it happens alot here). people will dress how they want and look how they want, outside of school anyhow. Their main argument is that, "its a distraction to good students..." if students are distracted by clothes or hairstyles... *ahem* mohawks, then they must really have low attention spans and should seek help, or have a high sense of superficiality and the real world will crush them. we see it happen even today in the job setting.

What the education system creates is not a self sufficient, free thinking generation of learners but rather a generation of narrowminded, lazy sods who axiously wait to be told what to do (which the media, owned by corporations, in turn tells them) Its almost as if now the grand scheme of things is beginning to backfire on our society. Only a strong supply of free thinkers and people with a will to succeed can save this country and the world's economy, but still we are content with repressing the minds of the youth and letting corporations control and use outsourcing to solve all of their problems while the nations infrastructure crumbles and the poverty rate increases.

Our other worries, such as crime are stems from poor education and the poverty created by it and society... its as though we put the poison in or own glass and willingfully drink it thinking that it wont eventually kill us.

I hope that eventually something will happen and we can find our way to a complete reformation of not just the economy but also in our education, primarily. I read an article today that stated that "Americans got us into this and Americans can get us out" they were speaking of how everyone should 'get thee to a mall and spend thy money for the holidays are upon us' i'm afraid its not that easy and would only prove to be a temporary fix at best, i agree that Americans can get us out but i don't believe that it will be anytime soon...

Times have changed, people, we can't shop our way to stability, and we can't World War our way out of depression like we did last time... we need to think of a better way, but how can we if all we are taught is how to do as we are told and no more? Where are our free-thinkers and our idealists when we need them? They are the casualties of our American Education system.
That, my friend, is the problem.... (taking a line from the final scene of the 'Andromeda Strain').

I've been a Republican for a very long time, but I'm cautiously optimistic that the new political regime will shake things up a bit. Personally, I'm hoping Obama will create change in the manner of FDR or Ronald Reagan. I'm impressed so far by his Cabinet appointments. We as country certainly need to find new and creative solutions to the problems at hand.

And I've been embarrassed to admit I'm a Republican after enduring 8 years of Bush and some very dull thinking.
I used to be a republican until this "neo-conservative" war mongering bullshit came about.... they are close to my way of thinking but the way i see it now is that republicans advocate big-business which is a small part of the financial problem at hand now, whereas democrats want to set up so many new government programs that needlessly cost people money and repress their freedom... i dislike both parties and as a result did not vote in the election because Oklahoma doesn't allow 3rd party registration on their presidential ballot, bipartisan system costs me my voice, and i don't believe in the "lesser of two evils" argument, either you agree or you don't. This nation keeps bouncing back and forth between 2 systems that just dont work the way they should and every election is like a rabies infested petting zoo (a disaster waiting to happen). I'm with you, God bless our president (elect), i hope he will have the strength to do great things in a nation of turmoil, i personally think he is a closet-socialist but he deserves our support.
I am a high school senior in the honors/enriched program taking some pretty difficult classes that are not required to graduate. I even took extra early morning classes so right now I only need 1 credit to graduate...but I am still taking hard classes and no study halls or bullshit classes like that. My least favorite classes are the ones that aren't honors or AP; the mentally dim flock there in masses. The sheer amount of ignorance and laziness is nauseating. Plus, the curriculums are such a waste of time. Why are we doing word searches? This isn't elementary school; I highly doubt word searches will in any way help prepare us for our life in the real world. I have a 3.9 GPA and got a 31 on the ACT, but it doesn't matter because I'm going to study graphic design and photography. I just believe that striving for higher understanding/intelligence is a vital part of living a good, successful life.
The no child left behind act is bullshit. Teachers shouldn't be teaching to the test, only covering exactly what we need to pass a national standard. I'm sick of all the brainless, one-dimensional concepts being taught. Where's all the deep thinking and discussions? Where's all the controversy and learning to think for yourself? I'm sure at least half of my peers are going to die when they get in the real world. Jokes..but for real. The government should give more of it's resources to education. In my opinion, a country full of highly-educated people is worth more than a country full of money and weapons.
One thing that really pulled me toward the whole "punk" attitude/lifestyle..whatever you want to call it is the fact that most people are free-thinkers with strong opinions they can easily back up. They don't give a fuck what anyone thinks and they question everything and seek the truth with propaganda and media having little effect. Most people rockin mohawks and DIY fashion tend to be deep-thinking intellectuals. There's always exceptions, but it's just a little trend I've noticed.
Again, I use the quote 'That, my friend, is the problem.' We will never grow unless we constantly question. I'm the old guy here, but I still question. And I have an aunt in her 80s who is sharp as a tack and still questions.

Re money, education, and weapons: we've gotten to the point where we have none of them. We owe China and the oil states to the hilt, our education system is badly broken, and even most of our weapons are obsolete (ask anyone serving in Iraq).

But we certainly know what Oprah, Brad, et all are up too,

BTW, did anyone notice the supernova which occurred several hundred years ago in a galaxy far, far away? The light is finally reaching earth. Very cool pics of the dramatic death of a star (not the Hollywood kind).

And yes, most 'punks' are intellectual. That's why I so enjoy this group.
Yeah, I realize the US has none of them, I was speaking in general terms. So basically, we're screwed.

And don't even get me started about celebrities. a;sldkfj
If fully agree! punks are rebels and individuals who question society as it is! a lot of punks are smart and they have to be self confident to show their attitude to the outside world
My best college profs were the toughest. One in particular comes to mind. He taught post-graduate mechanical dynamics. The homework was heavy (about 16 hours / week), and final was one problem (and it did take the full two hours to complete). When the final ended, he looked at the papers, didn't grade them, but awarded all 4 of us in the class a grade of A. He was more concerned about our thought processes than the answer. I had a lousy mechanical dynamics prof as an undergrad, and didn't really learn the material.
One big difference between the two.... My undergrad prof never worked outside of academia, and lived in a theoretical world. My graduate prof consulted with the army on weapons aiming systems (that was the problem on the final). He had 'real world' experience. Made a big difference.
Before signing up for classes, find out the prof's background. If possible, choose the ones with real world experience.
Good luck. BTW, what's your major?
YEAH!!! Chemistry girl!!! I like you already!!

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