[OT] Mediocre Britain
bobs at twft.com
Mon Aug 29 13:34:57 EDT 2011
Some define success in education as making sure every child has the same success as every other. Others define it as giving any child the best education they can. This is why some of you say public education is failing, and others say it is succeeding. You are defining your terms differently.
I personally think it an impossible task to educate all children equally, as like it or not, some are just plain smarter than others. Also, some are more disciplined than others. And some are so lazy and irresponsible and unintelligent that no matter how good the educational system, you can never get those children to perform at the level of the ones naturally born with a sharp intellect and a will to do as good as they can at whatever is put in front of them. Anyone who has put multiple children through school would probably attest to this.
That last bit will piss some people off to no end because they define equality as "equal in essence" whereas others define equality as "equal in standing". Again, the disagreement is about definitions. But I know why I was mediocre in school. I was lazy. Pure and simple. Teachers tried to get me to work harder, and when I liked the subject, I did pretty well, but I was only going to do as much as I needed to in order to get them to leave me alone, and then I would go back to my daydreaming. So I speak from first hand experience. I failed my 6th grade math exit exam. I then, after summer school to get me past it, went on to ace Algebra and Geometry and any of the advanced mathematics. How can that be you say? Simple. I HATED memorizing, and a lot of 6th grade math was about memorizing and problem solving over and over again. Algebra and Geometry was about understanding how things worked, and that interested me to no end, because I had a teacher who showed how that kind of math applied to understanding aspects of nature that interested me.
That there are students in all ages that do not do well in school is in my estimation a very bad way to measure success, because it ignores to the point of contempt what all men with an ounce of honest sense have known forever, and that is that some people are better at some things than other people. Some dogs are smarter than other dogs. Some are stronger, some are faster, some are whatever. That doesn't make them less the creatures that they are, just "different" or rather unique.
I personally believe that every person is "gifted" in one way or another. The key to success for any public education system is IMHO to find out what the strengths of any student is fairly early on, and then focus on their strengths, while not letting up on the basics, reading writing arithmetic. And the more we can get social indoctrination out of the public schools, the better off we will be. But at this point we will have to fight civil wars to make that happen. But any attempt to make all children "equal" is bound to lead, by way of initial and regular disappointment, to "dumbing down" the curriculum, so that success "appears" to have been achieved, and administrators can then keep their jobs, without which they will lose their homes, and possibly their families.
> Contrary to urban legend, public education is not deteriorating.
> During the imaginary "good old days," students were usually segregated by race, class, income, or address. Students who were not learning successfully were generally kept out of public view. Expectations for such students were low. Unsuccessful students often dropped out of school when they were still relatively young. Truancy laws were not strictly enforced in downscale and nonwhite neighborhoods, nor were child labor laws.
> For as long as public education has existed, there have been large numbers of sixth graders who read at the second grade level. And so on...<snip>
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