Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rights of Passage

It looks like I was right all along. According to the California Department of Education, the only requirement on California youngsters to achieve a high school diploma is the fact of attaining the age of eighteen years, and have their butts in the seats a certain number of times a year for twelve long, endless, boring years.

After some parties actually interested in seeing California kids get something resembling an education, pushed for the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Examination), and it was finally adopted, there was an expectation (among some) that California kids might actually finally begin to benefit from government schools.

The first crack in the dike appeared when high school teachers left off (to some extent) teaching the curriculum and started coaching for the Exit Exam.

Now, what I've heard termed a fifth grade-level exam, is just too tough for many poor and disadvantaged students. A lawsuit has been filed, and one of California's many utterly unqualified judges has indicated he plans to place an injunction against the test based on "equal protection" concerns.

I've written many times that I regard government-operated schools little more than children's prisons (observe the architecture of newer school campi), designed to warehouse children to keep them off the streets, and to indoctrinate them in political correctness and compliance with social(ist) norms far more than to actually teach them to reason, to be creative, to learn the 3 r's, to have an historical perspective and a real appreciation of the arts.

In short, government schools are child abuse.

The CAHSEE is irrelevant. If a youngster wants to learn, he'll learn. Try and stop him! Actually, it seems that the California Department of Education is trying to stop him! With all the time and opportunity available in school, most kids should exit in twelve years with an education well beyond that we normally expect of a Bachelor's degree. Today's schools actually do more to inhibit learning than they do to facilitate it.

Fast food outlets have for years now replaced the digits on cash registers with pictures of the food items! Who has time to figure out those incredibly difficult Arabic hyroglyphics, anyway? Many high school grads are unable to make change or to balance a checkbook.

Aside from accelerated and college prep curricula (which are a little better), most kids are kept down to the level of the slowest in any given class.

Many teachers are unqualified to teach the assigned subject. One youngster about whom I have personal knowledge was "taught" algebra by a football coach. When he found the subject difficult, and started asking questions, the "teacher" got angry, told him to study the book, do his homework and the problem would clarify itself. The boy dropped, went into a basic math class, and slid out of the college prep curriculum. The lad did graduate high school as scheduled, has yet (after several years) to take on the challenges of "higher education."

As it turns out, were he in high school today, he would have to do nothing to get a diploma but show up each day.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


Ol' BC said...

I've been following the story. What a shame. How long before a real graduate sues for the state devaluing his or her diploma?

Col. Hogan said...

Seems like somebody who learns he can't hack college could.....