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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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Hey bob, that sounds like the final exam that I created. Yeah I taught the organic chemistry class this semester because the asshole professor couldn't it because he had "research". In otherwards he just didn't feel like teaching....pathetic dick.
The final exam I gave was 1 problem, a theoretical synthesis. I gave them the starting material, the product, and gave them a pamphlet on all the organic reactions (HUGE! LIST!) and told them they could use any reagents there little minds could grasp to get from A to B. There were at least 25 ways to get to the product each that varied in the amount of steps to get there. They were graded on how many steps they made to get the product. Got some very unique answers but they were thinking hard!!
teachers are giving up that is the bottom line a student doesnt do something and the teacher never pushes them
Even though I'm known to disagree with a lot of shit, I really agree with this crap. I mean, I go to a public high school in New York. Standards are really really fucking high here. If you don't do good you won't get into even a state school because there are so many people applying to our colleges. And all through my entire school career I've never been challenged. I had 100's in everything until I started taking college-level courses in High School and it completely threw me for a loop.

Because school was never difficult for me at a young age I didn't develop any study habits at all. I've still never studied for anything. An AP exam, final, midterm, nothing, SAT, ACT, nothing. I just don't know how to. And I've never had to until about now. In my AP, college level, classes my test grades are kinda slipping below the high 90's I used to have, and it's because I don't know HOW to study. People say, oh that's ridiculous, you sit down and open the book. That doesn't work for me. No matter how many times I read it the information does not sink in. I just can't get it. And college is going to fucking make me want to blow my brains out. I'm a smart kid, I'm like a walking encyclopedia, my friends make fun of me for it. And yet my grades are lower than theirs when I have a higher understanding of pretty much everything.

And I completely blame it on the educational system. Not so much of the high school level, since study habits and all that jazz should be developed by then. But the elementary school level is shitty. By the time I was in 4th grade I was reading at a college level, while my class mates were still stuck on Green Eggs and Ham. Great book, but doesn't really require much brains to read. I mean, now I read medical textbooks and encyclopedias. I used to read medical encyclopedias as bed time stories when I was younger. My mom and I read the whole LOTR trilogy before I was 10. But still, I struggle doing medial things in school, such as study.

My entire life I was put with the mixed classes. Because in NY, I dunno about the rest of the country, they like to mix the super smart and the.. dumb.. kids. It was to like.. hopefully increase the bar on the dumber kids and have the smart ones help them. Great idea, but the smart kids aren't getting challenged and aren't developing like they should be.

As for high school policies. I hate them. We're not allowed to wear hats. Why? It might take away from the focus of learning. Ok, I can understand if someone's wearing some giant novelty hat, but how is a fucking skullcap on your head to keep you from freezing because the school is too poor to afford gas for heating a fucking distraction? My school district has just implemented a dress code. It's starting at elementary schools and is working it's way up to the high school. See, that's fine and dandy, but what the administrators don't realize is.. a good 70% of my school is African American or Latino. The LAST thing they want is to be wearing catholic school outfits. Especially in a public school. It might work well for the younger grades. But if you separate a brother from his eckos some shit is gonna go down. Not only that, but clothing is a way for people to express themselves. And I think to oppress a child's creativity is not only terrible, but mentally scarring as well.

Here's an example of the great schooling that Americans get.. So, I was sitting in my PIG, Participation in Government, class the other week. PIG is a regents, the lowest level besides X classes which are classes with labs. I took it because I couldn't fit the college level class into my schedule. So I'm in there and we're taking a test. Some kids in the back actually asked my teacher who Dick Cheney was. You don't even understand how floored I was. I looked at my teacher and said.. This is the future of America, does it scare you at all? And he shrugged and said.. Yeah, but hopefully I'm dead by then. I just wanted to smack those kids in the face. I didn't know that anyone could be that dumb when we learned about the WHOLE federal government for about.. 3 weeks prior to taking the test.

People blame the teachers, but it isn't them. My teachers have all been great. Staying late after school, holding study hours on the weekends at the local library, and offering help whenever it's needed. Sure, there are some teachers who suck, but it isn't any that I've had.

Yes, the government is greatly at fault for it. But there are also those kids who don't want to learn, and the reason they don't even want to be there and act like assholes is from a lack of structure at home. I was shadowing my Spanish teacher yesterday and she called one girl's house because she was constantly late to class and gave her an attitude every day. The girls mom said, well that's not my problem, I'm not her and I'm not you, so you handle it, that's why you get paid. I was completely and totally dumbfounded that anyone would speak to a teacher that way, especially one as nice as Sra Boerum.

We're reading Crime and Punishment for my AP Literature class, and my teacher asked people to read out loud. They struggled on words like.. punishment. While there are some of us who can pronounce Fyodor Dostoevsky's name without missing a beat, or the main character Raskolnakov. It's disappointing that the government doesn't take more of an active interest in the students and make things a bit more challenging. I would have enjoyed High School a whole lot more if I took away valuable information from it.
thats a looooooooooooooong post, jesus
Well i got kicked out of school alot in my past and shit cause i was and still am a trouble maker but im out now and am going to college to be an air technician its been fun so far but yea..
I think the biggest problem comes from our Mass Media obsession with the Lowest Common Denominator. Look at all the so called reality tv shows.Look at Advertising. Dumb = Good. Thuggishness = Good. Its cool to be an boorish prick who will step on anyone or anything to get what they want. As long as you have money nothing else matters. Athletes deal drugs and worse and get paid millions. Gang bangers become heroes. People with absolutely no talent become popular celebrities.
Children,generally speaking,want to be like people on TV and in the movies. And America is pushing two words. DUMB and CALLOUS. I'm lucky so far. My kids are proving to be a perfect blend of creative,inquisitive and old fashioned politeness while still maintaining the spark that makes them question authority. A lot of schools are not pushing the hows and whys but merely drilling in correct responses without evoking a set of wonder that makes you want to learn more. We are setting the lowest standards overall. Why should you do well in school when TV and the radio says you can make it being a pimp and a hustler?
go figure, its a vicious cirlce... america complains about its criminal rate and low education but what do we do? we praise criminality and mediocrity in the mass media! meanwhile the government does nothing to allieviate the problem... a good post Doug i definitely agree with you.
That is eerily true. I am part of a school that is made out of entirely gifted kids, though it stills remains a public, and thus publicly funded school. With the state of the economy being what it is there have been tons of demands every day that my school- as well as gifted programs in regular public schools- should be shut down. It is complete bull shit to even think that it is perfectly alright to take away advanced education from kids that actually give a shit about learning and pour more funding into schools where jocks get good grades simply for being jocks, and nobody else seems to care at all about the world, or the future. Nobody tries to take away funding from people that don't perform on average, and there would be rage from everyone if someone even suggested we take away courses to help children with speech impediments, but nobody bats a fucking eyelash at the fact that people want to take away the education of students that perform above average! It is such a steaming load that they are trying to pull.

That being said, I feel really bad for teachers that are absolutely amazing and actually care to motivate their students by sharing valid and interesting information who end up being treated like the crappiest of teachers who doesn't care at all about their students. We had a teacher at our school last year (I was thankful that I managed to avoid him) that openly admitted that he didn't know anything about his subject. At all. He would sit in on the classes of other teachers trying to learn the subject from them, and for the whole second semester he just brought his own class into other teacher's classes. Worse yet he teaches alongside- as if he were an equal- the most brilliant teacher I've ever had! Even the other teachers have said that, when in doubt go to ask her something, because she knows everything. I've never, ever had a question she couldn't answer, nor do I know anyone that has. But to the school system? The same difference.
its because the government is soo focused on socialism...socializing kids in schools when in fact is they're parents job. there's almost no more arythmatic (can't spell) english/grammar..its all about making juan and ashley friends...

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