I spent my entire public school career in this system; I know what I'm talking about. Also, this is the district that said, "$60 million for a new school? No problem! Whoops! We have no money left for classrom equipment! You'll have to go scrounge up some clapped-out pianos for music class!"
If they had just torn down the old high school they could have moved all the stuff from it to the new one, but no, that had to become the "sixth grade center", which meant furnishing an entire new school building...and they didn't have the money after building it.
As I said: "If we can fuck it up...!"
My opinion of them wouldn't be so bad if I had actually learned anything in high school--anything, that is, beyond typing, which I chose to take. But other than a few minor nuggets of information, most of what I learned in high school I learned in spite of their best efforts, not because of them.
The socialized educational system cannot deal well with the very bright, and in fact there's no incentive for them to. They must take all comers; if there's a developmentally disabled kid (what they used to call "retarded", and which means the exact same damned thing, but why use three syllables when you can use nine?) he's got to be put somewhere, and the trigonometry class is probably not the best choice, which means they must have special classrooms for the abnormal, the handicapped, the retarded, and the egregiously stupid.
("Egregiously stupid" meaning people on the low end of normal intelligence who simply cannot or will not learn anything.)
And because you must have two full-time employees for each classroom of "special ed" and they require special training, you have to pay a lot more for one of these classes than you do for two or three regular ones.
But the very bright are not handicapped; they're easily able to understand everything thrown at them--so they're expected just to sit down and listen as the teacher explains how to solve 2x=4...for a week. They learn the concept almost instantly, but then must dutifully practice it for four more days. Maybe with a few minor variations thrown in (2x+4=16). None of the examples ever fails to resolve to a whole number.
...and the very bright go insane with boredom.
The average have no trouble; everything is geared towards them. The under-average are catered to. But the above average split into two factions: 1) the ones with some self-discipline jump through the hoops and get the grades, even though the material is being presented at a glacial pace. 2) The ones without (like me) ignore it all and do whatever they feel like doing, because the material being presented at a pace that's so far beneath their level it's a chore just to show up and listen.
I could have done all four semesters of high school algebra in two, or maybe even one, but there's no provision to do that in a public high school...and so after two weeks of "2x+4=16" I stopped listening. Occasionally I'd hear something that caught my interest, briefly, but of course then I'd stop listening again after that.
C'mon--I was sixteen.
When I was in college, I had no trouble learning algebra, or trignometry, or calculus; and it was only partly because I was six years older. The material was being presented quickly enough that I didn't have time to get bored with it, and in fact sometimes I had to struggle to keep up. But in high school it was insanely slow and tedious drudgery.
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None of which is what I originally intended to blog about, but WTF.
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I'm not going to vote for Romney, but Obama's latest salvo claims that Romney's statewide 4.7% unemployment rate was "high". While the official country-wide unemployment level of 8.1% (and the real one of 11%) are, of course, "the summer of recovery".
The post is headlined, "Romney's Policies Were An Economic Failure Because Massachusetts' Unemployment Rate Was 4.7%".
Romney's policies did not produce enough jobs.Heh.
Merely full employment (5% is usually considered full employment).
Don't vote for the guy whose unemployment rate, while Governor, was 4.7%.
Vote for the guy who's had a 8+% unemployment record for three and a half years. The guy with the worst 30 months of employment in 25 years.
See, that's the guy you should trust on job creation.
The 8+% guy.
And, by the way, the unemployment rate is not 8%. It's really 11%.
So vote for 11% unemployment guy. This 4.7% unemployment guy is obviously some kind of incompetent parvenu.
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Also from Ace, and I'm going to steal his headline too: "Obama: I Know More About Judaism Than Any Other President Because I Read About It".
And the first line: "Other presidents don't read, and probably had no top Jewish advisors and cabinet secretaries."
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Vox Day is a mite bit skeptical that the GOP is really going to fight to keep the lid on government deficit spending. Can you blame him? I don't think they will, either. The GOP always cowers pathetically in the corner when the press starts saying bad things about them, but especially when it's an election year, or the year before an election year.
Basically, all the time.
So we'll simply get to watch another kabuki performance as the GOP bravely stands up to the Democrats...and then gives them everything they want. Yeah.
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I wonder who "Venusheart72" is.
I fired up GoogleTalk this evening in hopes of chatting with Og for a bit, and saw an invite from someone calling herself (I hope it's a she) "venusheart72". Just for giggles I decided to okay it, because WTF, and I can always delete it later. And since my gmail account is my public e-mail address, it's fine.