Less Smart

Wow. Just, wow.

Big Brother. McCarthyism. The patience of Job.

Don’t count on your typical teenager to nod knowingly the next time you drop a reference to any of these. A study out today finds that about half of 17-year-olds can’t identify the books or historical events associated with them.

Hit the link to see what else they missed.

But this is the worst part of the article

The findings probably won’t sit well with educators, who say record numbers of students are taking college-level Advanced Placement history, literature and other courses in high school.

“Not all is woe in American education,” says Trevor Packer of The College Board, which oversees Advanced Placement.

We’ve heard multiple times in the past that even these AP students are having to be remedially taught basic subjects once they actually enter college. I took all four offered AP classes per year in high school, and didn’t then and still don’t consider myself as competently educated as I should have been. I only took those classes because the standard rate classes were so mind-numbingly slow. They were still teaching basic spelling to the senior class.

It isn’t that today’s children are being born stupid. They’re just having their heads stuffed with feel-good pap instead of what they need their empty vessel-like heads filled with.

Now, I’m not sitting here and saying that the teachers of today aren’t the best and brightest, though it is rather obvious that some decent number of them need to find a new vocation. Too bad the teacher’s unions think that once they get their foot in the door, they should be allowed to do whatever for 20 years with no test of their ability whatsoever.
But from what I can see, very few of those getting paid to “Administer” the kids of today would not be best described as “The Best” or “The Brghtest”.

“Dinosaur” computer stalls Seattle school’s plans

An aging computer — so old that the University of Washington has an early model on display as a museum piece — stands between the Seattle School Board and the changes it wants to make in how the district assigns students to schools.

The computer, called a VAX, was first sold in the late 1970s. The district still uses two VAXes of late-’80s to mid-90s vintage. They use old-fashioned disks and stand about 5 feet tall. Staff members sometimes look for used replacement parts on eBay.

To keep tweaking the VAXes, district staff warned last week, is risky and a waste of time. To replace them, however, likely comes with a cost that made School Board members cringe: a delay of about a year in putting the new assignment plan into action.

Last year, the SCOTUS told the Seattle School District that they couldn’t use a student’s race to assign them a school. The District has apparently come up with “A New Plan” that the old computer system can’t handle. They are waiting for, you guessed it, “More Money” to get the system online. Maybe in a year or so, they say.

How fucking hard is it to get three maps: One for Elementary schools, one for Middle Schools and one for High Schools, and draw a radius around a school and tell those students that if they live within that radius then that is the school they will attend? Part of my previous duties at my current place of employment is to map out route areas for ‘da garbageman. I’ll take 25% of what they’re planning on paying for their new pooter and get it planned out before school gets out this summer.

Oh screw it! Somebody, PLEASE, buy the Seattle School District a fucking Garmin.

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5 Responses to Less Smart

  1. It isn’t that today’s children are being born stupid. They’re just having their heads stuffed with feel-good pap instead of what they need their empty vessel-like heads filled with.

    That and the fact that teachers have to teach kids how to pass a series of multiple guess tests in order to keep getting money.

  2. Phil says:

    Any test that quizzes basic factual knowledge is a good thing. Giving credit for “trying”, however, is not.

    Pass the test to graduate? Absolutely.

    Keep giving the school money even if Little Johnny and Suzie Precious can’t pass a 10th grade knowledge test in 12th grade, after a dozen attempts? Absolutely not.

    Rewards without results is as bad for teachers and schools as it is for students.

    Take out “Self Esteem” and “Tolerance” assemblies and all school based extra curricular activities and classes (sports, dances, “The Arts”, etc) and spend more time in the classroom teaching the 3 R’s until test scores improve? Abso-fuckin-lutely.

    Put peer pressure where it should be.

  3. guy says:

    To replace [the VAX}, however, likely comes with a cost that made School Board members cringe

    Why? go down to walmart and pick up a pocket calculator for $5. It’s not like upgrading from a VAX’s horsepower would be all that pricey. Hell the savings on the electricity bill alone might pay for the upgrade.

  4. Wndy Wilson says:

    AP courses are a fraud anyway, they are just a different terminology to use so the students who take AP courses can feel superior to the students from 1970 who took “X” and “XL” classes.
    The whole concept of AP courses is in the same category as re-aligning the SAT scores so the scores stay up.

  5. DFWMTX says:

    Actually, I’d say even 3/4s of the people who know the term ‘Big Brother’ comes from “1984” haven’t fully read of comprehended the book. Too many focus on the oppression of society in the name of Big Brother, fewer seem to focus on the psychology of the characters within.

    And of course fewer young people will know what the patience of Job is as we become less and less of a Christian-dominated society. Besides, I have theological opposition to the idea of the patience of Job being a good thing; the poor man got shat on for the amusement of two deities and his silence was bought off in the end.

    As for McCarthyism…..you expect students to know the full truth about that? Two reasons why they wouldn’t: first, many teachers are liberal, and thus would give the liberal slant of it, which is that the McCarthy and HUAC hearings were massive and there were no Communists in government (not so). But the more likely reasons kids today won’t know much about McCarthyism is because this part of history comes near the present, and when I was in high school by the time the year was winding down, we’d barely arrived at the end of World War 2, we didn’t have time to fully study 1945-the present, and everything in those decades was glossed over quickly. I’m still learning about McCarthyism, and that’s under my own voluntary history education.

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