Decline of the American education system (s)

Not only are people being taught that being a man is wrong and that women should be tougher like men (how much tougher can it be when men are being told to cry during TV commercials and smell pretty?), but the populace is being made stupider.  The problem is that humans have been able to develop technologies and succeed like no other creatures on Earth.  Because of this, traits and ideas not otherwise survivable have been passed on, making the species as a whole, weaker.

For instance, students in America are now getting partial credit…for wrong answers.  No, I’m not kidding.  One kid in an LA School district was given this problem to solve:

A skateboard is two feet long.  How long is the skateboard?  Show your work.

Answer: 24+24=48
Yeah, guess what?  He got partial credit.  Why?  Because at least the little reject knew to add 24 and 24 to get 48…never mind that a foot is 12 inches!
American math over the past fifty years:

1950’s –
A lumber jack cuts down lumber and sells it at market for $100.  His operating cost is 4/5 of his profit.  How much profit did he make?
1960’s –
A lumber jack cuts down lumber and sells it for $100.  If his cost is $80, how much profit does he make?
1970’s –
A lumber jack sells some lumber for $100.  If he sells it for $80, does he make a $20 profit?
1980’s –
A lumber jack sells some lumber for $100.  It cost him $80 to do so and he made a $20 profit.  Can you please underline $20?
1990’s –
A chauvinistic slime ball chops down a beautiful, pristine forest because he hates nature and is a capitalistic pig.  How do you think the animals and birds feel about all of this?  (No wrong answers, and if you need to cry, that’s okay, especially if you’re a boy.)
American Math in 2010 –
Una cortemadera y lo vende en mercado para $100. Su costo operador es 4/5 de su ganancia. ¿Cuánta ganancia hizo él?

Posted 6/25/2010 at 8:26 PM on Xanga

When you’re ahead of the school system (s)

I can’t honestly tell you how I came up with the memories.  My brain works on a lot of slippery slope transitions…such as looking at a street light can remind me of a pie I ate three years ago after about ten seconds.

For some reason, opening the ‘fridge, I was reminded of the time that I read the book “The Hobbit”, then saw a cartoon version of it in fifth grade.  When I was watching the cartoon in class, I remember thinking, “I know this story…”  I brought it up to my teacher and told her that I’ve read the book.  Her response to me?  “I doubt that.”

I was a little confused and asked her why.  She told me, “No one in fifth grade is required to read The Hobbit and it’s not a book someone who is ten years old would have read.”  So, to prove her wrong, I recounted the entire story, including my favorite quote by Bard, “You’ve never failed me, and I’ve always recovered you.  I had you from my father and from of old.”  Needless to say, she was a little shocked that I not only had read the book, but I could quote it.  She was even more shocked to find out I had read “two other stories” about his nephew…which obviously are Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers.  It would be another four years before I could get my hands on Return of the King.

All that reminded me of other times I had been ahead of the school system.  In fourth grade we were told to read James and the Giant Peach…a book I had already read from start to finish, though hadn’t remembered the name of.  The teacher was the one reading it to us and I had mentioned that I knew the story as well.  I recounted the characters and a few of the adventures.  The teacher didn’t know what to say, and had thought I was making it up to get out of the reading time.  I wasn’t.

During my sixth grade year I had read the book “Serendipity’s Song”, only to have the class read it as one of the final books.  I also read the book “Devil on My Back”.  It’s a really good story and was a lot of fun to read.  I was then required to read it in eighth grade…

Why is it assumed that kids and people couldn’t possibly have read certain books?  I had read War and Peace in seventh grade because I heard a lot about it.  Just because I’m not required to read something doesn’t mean I won’t.

I’ve been privileged with the entire Chronicles of Pern books, and I’ve been reading them every single day.  I still can’t get my hands on a hard copy of “Paradise Lost”, which I desperately want to read.

Seriously, it would piss me off so bad when people, especially teachers, would try to tell me that there was no way I knew about certain books or items.  I mean, they used to give me write ups for “reading too much”, but I wasn’t advanced enough to read certain books?  One teacher, in second grade, said that if I wasn’t reading in the “Blue Jay” levels, then I wasn’t actually reading some books.  The issue is, the way the teaching was done is totally different than the way I was understanding the books.  The tests she gave wasn’t on reading comprehension…but word problems and things like that.

Honestly, I think they just didn’t like me.  What else is new?  You’re reading from a guy who had required essays given zeros five times before my actual teacher gave me a passing grade because of the subject matter.  I guess when you’re 14 to 17 years old and in high school, graphic literary descriptions of the dead walking or how a bullet rips through a human throat isn’t something they want to give an A+ on, even when it’s written above standard.

Posted 5/27/2010 at 7:24 PM on Xanga