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do you agree?

jdpworld

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Singapore's students do brilliantly in math and science tests.



American kids test much worse but do better in the real world…f-z







and if yes....why?
 

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Two questions:

1. What is the "real world"?
2. What evidence do you have that Americans do better there?
 

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I would say I agree with the assertion.

The first reason is because a couple of years ago (under the Clinton Administration) the head of Singapore's Education Department came to the U.S. to study our schools. The media was fairly baffled, and they asked during a new conference why he'd study the American school system when his kids regularly beat the tar out of ours on testing. His response was something along the lines of, "Because all our kids know how to do is take tests."

That's... Pretty compelling.

The second reason I'd agree is that in high school, yes it's true that our scores don't measure up. However, during and after college, no students in the entire world outperform American kids. It's as though the other nations harp on lower education so much; that their kids become so saturated in it, that once they hit college they're burnt out. They don't study and don't take it seriously. It's more of a celebration that they got there, than a focus on what they should be doing there. Where-as our kids tend to actually focus on the subjects, and learn. I know most of us who went to college would disagree, but that does indeed seem to be the case. Despite how much we partied, apparently they make us look focused and studious.

Third, those tests are crap. Ever taken one? They're a joke. They measure nothing except memorization. Very little of the test is based on subjective reasoning, risk management, analytical skills or problem-solving. Tests also cannot measure imagination or innovation. Our kids are raised in an environment that nurtures and focuses their imagination and innovative mind. They "create" rather than recite.

And there are other reasons too... but that's enough for now I think.

That's my view on it.
 

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Alastor said:
I would say I agree with the assertion.

The first reason is because a couple of years ago (under the Clinton Administration) the head of Singapore's Education Department came to the U.S. to study our schools. The media was fairly baffled, and they asked during a new conference why he'd study the American school system when his kids regularly beat the tar out of ours on testing. His response was something along the lines of, "Because all our kids know how to do is take tests."

That's... Pretty compelling.

The second reason I'd agree is that in high school, yes it's true that our scores don't measure up. However, during and after college, no students in the entire world outperform American kids. It's as though the other nations harp on lower education so much; that their kids become so saturated in it, that once they co hit college they're burnt out. They don't study and don't take it seriously. It's more of a celebration that they got there, than a focus on what they should be doing there. Where-as our kids tend to actually focus on the subjects, and learn. I know most of us who went to college would disagree, but that does indeed seem to be the case. Despite how much we partied, apparently they make us look focused and studious.

Third, those tests are crap. Ever taken one? They're a joke. They measure nothing except memorization. Very little of the test is based on subjective reasoning, risk management, analytical skills or problem-solving. Tests also cannot measure imagination or innovation. Our kids are raised in an environment that nurtures and focuses their imagination and innovative mind. They "create" rather than recite.

And there are other reasons too... but that's enough for now I think.

That's my view on it.

well see, this is how i look at it. In india, we have private schools that can barely afford one computer lab or "clean, nurturuing, classrooms". Nonetheless, they are churning out top math and science students who perform similarily with top math and science students in the US if not better.

What does that say about our education system? With all the money our public schools get, the kid in india has similar/better math and science skills than the average kid here. That shows that we're not doin somethin rite...

If schools in india or china had the money we had, their students would go far beyond ours.

The only thing that saves us is our top notch universities.
 

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nkgupta80 said:
well see, this is how i look at it. In india, we have private schools that can barely afford one computer lab or "clean, nurturuing, classrooms". Nonetheless, they are churning out top math and science students who perform similarily with top math and science students in the US if not better.

What does that say about our education system? With all the money our public schools get, the kid in india has similar/better math and science skills than the average kid here. That shows that we're not doin somethin rite...

If schools in india or china had the money we had, their students would go far beyond ours.

The only thing that saves us is our top notch universities.
But... there's a lot you're leaving out there or that isn't obvious. In those environments, that is the only way for those kids to get ahead, and they are very strict in their classroom education. They memorize things because that's the ONLY way out of their circumstance. Our children use imagination and innovation, because in America that's valued more than being able to calculate pi to the tenth decimal.

Another thing that I think people fail to realize is that while those students score well on tests, their suicide rates are absurd among their youth. Seriously. I'll dig up some stats if you want - their society places so much pressure on their kids and their educations, that they memorize things and don't ever think outside the box - and if they fail to perform the pressures are so enormous that they often whack themselves.

There are trade-offs.

And as I pointed out before, when our kids graduate high school and enter college, they've either caught up to our passed their foreign counter-parts in terms of education. Except that our children can innovate as well.
 

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I think the tides are changing in our globalized economy and other industrialized nations will out compete the United States in the future if something isn't done to improve our schools. We are no longer just loosing manufacturing jobs to other countries we are now losing computer programming jobs! How many drs. enrolling in resident programs in our nations hospitals are foreigners? Alot. We must invest in schools so our children can effectively compete in the future with the rest of the globalized world.
 

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Alastor said:
But... there's a lot you're leaving out there or that isn't obvious. In those environments, that is the only way for those kids to get ahead, and they are very strict in their classroom education. They memorize things because that's the ONLY way out of their circumstance. Our children use imagination and innovation, because in America that's valued more than being able to calculate pi to the tenth decimal.

Another thing that I think people fail to realize is that while those students score well on tests, their suicide rates are absurd among their youth. Seriously. I'll dig up some stats if you want - their society places so much pressure on their kids and their educations, that they memorize things and don't ever think outside the box - and if they fail to perform the pressures are so enormous that they often whack themselves.

There are trade-offs.

And as I pointed out before, when our kids graduate high school and enter college, they've either caught up to our passed their foreign counter-parts in terms of education. Except that our children can innovate as well.
true the pressures placed on kids there is too much a lot of the times. My cousin had to work his ass off (although he made it to IIT doing so). Then i look at my own college admissions process and I think, what a joke.

But thats besides the point. We do have more innovative approaches to teaching. But in the realms of math and science that shouldn't be the sole focus, especially in early education. Early education should teach kids how to focus and work out problems with efficiency. Tedious work should be second nature to these kids by the time they finish elementary school. They need to balance the innovative/creative educational approach with work like this. give more math problems, and less time playing with decimal blocks or learning fractions with pie charts and fun little m&m games etc. its just a waste of time

Its interesting, at columbia, there is a group of international singaporean students, who are here on scholarship. While others bitch about the work here, these guys pull it off with ease. They're making top grades, (not only in math/science courses). And the thing is, all of them are putting it off. I'm not trying to generalize of course, everyone in these colleges are bright individuals, but you can tell that the quality of these singaporeans' education was exceptional.
 

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Tedious work should be second nature to these kids by the time they finish elementary school.
I think you have some unrealistic expectations of what kids are (or should be) capable of by certain ages.




On the instance of your Columbia students...

When I was in high school, everyone talked about how hard college would be if I ever got there. I didn't get there, I got kicked out of three schools. I dropped out of a fourth. I finally got my GED, and then my diploma, and less than 12 hours later was at Lackland AFB in Texas starting my basic training.

Four years later I left the military to go to college, which everyone said would be very very hard.

I was scared, because it was supposed to be so hard.

Three and a half years later, while mostly drunk and entirely sleep-deprived, while having rarely cracked a book and having ditched enough to get me booted from most classes, I walked across the stage to accept my degree in two major fields, History and Political Science (not slack majors, folks).

I also got handed my award for being the President of the debate team, the President of the National History Honors society (on my campus, not nationally), President of the Pre-law club, National Honors Student in both majors, member of two other clubs (because they had the hot girls)... And again, I was falling down drunk at the time.

I made academic scholarships every semester, was on the Dean's List, the President's list, and was one of the DJs for the radio station at night on weekends. I also worked full time while I went to school.

So did most of my friends.

We weren't especially bright. I've been tested; my IQ is somewhere in the low 100s - about average.

I partied very hard. But I also had just a genuine passion for learning. So did the guys and gals I hung out with in college. It's not a matter of brains or training. It's a matter of "want to." That cannot be taught in schools.

My friends and I all did very well in college, and I'm preparing to go get my doctorate from the same school as Condi Rice and Indira Ghandi. I'm not alone, some of my friends are going with me or are already there.

None of us were from Singapore.
 
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-Demosthenes-

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Alastor said:
I think you have some unrealistic expectations of what kids are (or should be) capable of by certain ages.




On the instance of your Columbia students...

When I was in high school, everyone talked about how hard college would be if I ever got there. I didn't get there, I got kicked out of three schools. I dropped out of a fourth. I finally got my GED, and then my diploma, and less than 12 hours later was at Lackland AFB in Texas starting my basic training.

Four years later I left the military to go to college, which everyone said would be very very hard.

I was scared, because it was supposed to be so hard.

Three and a half years later, while mostly drunk and entirely sleep-deprived, while having rarely cracked a book and having ditched enough to get me booted from most classes, I walked across the stage to accept my degree in two major fields, History and Political Science (not slack majors, folks).

I also got handed my award for being the President of the debate team, the President of the National History Honors society (on my campus, not nationally), President of the Pre-law club, National Honors Student in both majors, member of two other clubs (because they had the hot girls)... And again, I was falling down drunk at the time.

I made academic scholarships every semester, was on the Dean's List, the President's list, and was one of the DJs for the radio station at night on weekends. I also worked full time while I went to school.

So did most of my friends.

We weren't especially bright. I've been tested; my IQ is somewhere in the low 100s - about average.

I partied very hard. But I also had just a genuine passion for learning. So did the guys and gals I hung out with in college. It's not a matter of brains or training. It's a matter of "want to." That cannot be taught in schools.

My friends and I all did very well in college, and I'm preparing to go get my doctorate from the same school as Condi Rice and Indira Ghandi. I'm not alone, some of my friends are going with me or are already there.

None of us were from Singapore.
Certainly in a place like Singapore if you don't learn it all right now, then you'll be a street sweeper. It's a race, and those who lose get screwed.

Here, it's so relaxed. High school is a joke, those who really want to learn go to college, and most of the people who go there do pretty well. But as Alastor was saying, for those of us who get what's going on (although maybe not the average American) we can do pretty much whatever we want. I mean I haven't graduated high school and I'll have my associates degree this summer.

So they are different, yes, but I don't think one system is clearly better than the other.
 

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Our environments have a lot to do with it too.

Face it, our environment is one of complete freedom, dissention, and expression. Our rights have come at a price. Our children are raised watching tv programming directed at selling and influencing more than ever. Our "cartoons" are crude and simple and our children watch them intently. Our music is very violent and aggresive. If you wrap all of this up and hurl it towards an impressionable young mind, we have a problem. Our teachers are constantly having to deal with discipline problems that we do not hear about from other countries. Our schools have metal detectors. The children who wish to learn must put up with the great number of students who want nothing to with school and "we can't make them."

Teachers blame the parents. Parents blame the teachers. Hillary blames the "village.":roll: The blame belongs on our society. We are not preparing our children properly for adulthood and for educational environments. These third world countries do not have such exposure forced upon their children. The freer and more progressive a society is, the harder it is to focus. What do the children in less developed countries have to focus on? To many out there, education is hammered as a means to glorious ends and success. In America, the quick buck is the ticket - whether it be from wearing Jordan's Nikes to being a multi-millionaire contracted athlete or winning the lottery.

Of course, this doesn't apply to all, but I'm sure you get my general point.
 

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We are not preparing our children properly for adulthood and for educational environments.
The point is that they don't have to be prepared as much as kids in "3rd world" or other countries.
 

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-Demosthenes- said:
The point is that they don't have to be prepared as much as kids in "3rd world" or other countries.
I disagree. I don't think the above is the point.

I think the point is that their environment is different, and thus our kids must be prepared differently.
 

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Alastor said:
I disagree. I don't think the above is the point.

I think the point is that their environment is different, and thus our kids must be prepared differently.

But our schools can do better. We got the creativity part down, we just need to teach kids with more rigour now. Fun cannot compromise strong work-ethic and discipline. Some kids naturally have it and succeed, but other kids are just left behind. When schools in places like india, with much less moeny can produce students that have similar strengths to students here, where the schools have much more money, you know that something is off. I guess our culture, also, doesn't place much emphasis on academics like it should. Its no wonder why asian/first-generation immigrant kids tend to perform better than children from Americanized families.
 

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We got the creativity part down, we just need to teach kids with more rigour now. Fun cannot compromise strong work-ethic and discipline.
I dunno. It's the arts programs that get cut in most schools first. We have standardized testing now... I think we can make a strong case that if we're lacking anything, analytical and interpretive skills (which come from the arts) are what we're lacking. I don't hear much about a shortage of Math books these days. I know a lot of music programs that are completely gone however.
 

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nkgupta80 said:
But our schools can do better. We got the creativity part down, we just need to teach kids with more rigour now. Fun cannot compromise strong work-ethic and discipline. Some kids naturally have it and succeed, but other kids are just left behind. When schools in places like india, with much less moeny can produce students that have similar strengths to students here, where the schools have much more money, you know that something is off. I guess our culture, also, doesn't place much emphasis on academics like it should. Its no wonder why asian/first-generation immigrant kids tend to perform better than children from Americanized families.
I don't think it's the school's job to create a work ethic in kids. It's the parent's job.
 

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Alastor said:
I disagree. I don't think the above is the point.

I think the point is that their environment is different, and thus our kids must be prepared differently.
Well I'd have to agree with you :p Their environment is different, I'd just have to say that it's different in other places because it's harder.
 

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Kelzie said:
I don't think it's the school's job to create a work ethic in kids. It's the parent's job.

i do agree its the parent's job. But schools don't give enough hw and/or challenging hw to help create that work-ethic. Parent's can tell kids to do their work, but if kids are finishing that work in a matter of half an hour (a lot of elementary kids seem to do so), how can they build that work ethic. give kids 50 math problems in arithmetic everyday in 2nd grade, and im sure teachers won't have to go over the same damn arithmetic in later grades.

I dunno. It's the arts programs that get cut in most schools first. We have standardized testing now... I think we can make a strong case that if we're lacking anything, analytical and interpretive skills (which come from the arts) are what we're lacking. I don't hear much about a shortage of Math books these days. I know a lot of music programs that are completely gone however.
compare our standard tests in various grades (for math and science) to the standards required in abroad, its almost retarded. We repeat the same damn curriculum in math for 5 years in elementary school. Why? Cause kids are expected to forget all the stuff they learned. So instead of giving them more work to make sure they remember and understand, we just repeat the same subject matters over the elementary-middle school years. That wasted time could go into any number of things, from teaching higher math, to extra arts programs, to teaching kids an extra language.
 

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nkgupta80 said:
i do agree its the parent's job. But schools don't give enough hw and/or challenging hw to help create that work-ethic. Parent's can tell kids to do their work, but if kids are finishing that work in a matter of half an hour (a lot of elementary kids seem to do so), how can they build that work ethic. give kids 50 math problems in arithmetic everyday in 2nd grade, and im sure teachers won't have to go over the same damn arithmetic in later grades.
That's not true at all. My sister is in second grade, brother's in fourth, and they both have at least an hour of homework a night. From a public school. It is very possible that the homework is assigned, but kids don't do it. I know that's still a problem in college.


nkgupta80 said:
compare our standard tests in various grades (for math and science) to the standards required in abroad, its almost retarded. We repeat the same damn curriculum in math for 5 years in elementary school. Why? Cause kids are expected to forget all the stuff they learned. So instead of giving them more work to make sure they remember and understand, we just repeat the same subject matters over the elementary-middle school years. That wasted time could go into any number of things, from teaching higher math, to extra arts programs, to teaching kids an extra language.
How long has it been since you were in elementary school? I certainly don't remember learning arithmetic past second grade. And I can tell you my brother in fourth doesn't learn it.

It's so easy to blame the system and the teachers. The system doesn't vote and there aren't that many teachers. Parents, now. Parents make up a substantial voting block. No politician is going to tell them that education can only be fixed if they raise their kids right. Public schools are not going to guarantee success. They give kids the tools to succeed, but only if they take them.
 

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Kelzie said:
That's not true at all. My sister is in second grade, brother's in fourth, and they both have at least an hour of homework a night. From a public school. It is very possible that the homework is assigned, but kids don't do it. I know that's still a problem in college.

How long has it been since you were in elementary school? I certainly don't remember learning arithmetic past second grade. And I can tell you my brother in fourth doesn't learn it.

It's so easy to blame the system and the teachers. The system doesn't vote and there aren't that many teachers. Parents, now. Parents make up a substantial voting block. No politician is going to tell them that education can only be fixed if they raise their kids right. Public schools are not going to guarantee success. They give kids the tools to succeed, but only if they take them.
i don't blame the teachers. I guess I was blaming the system, but you are right, parents ultimately call the shots on how the system is run. I'll agree that the parents have a LOT to do with it. It shows, especially when you examine asian kids who come from a culture were academics are very important.

I think my biggest beef is with the math curriculum in elementary/middle schools.. Most kids coming out of elementary school are very slow at doing math, they take their time, use obscure methods for solving simple problems, they don't learn efficiency. I think this is a killer in later math courses and highschools.

The math programs abroad (especially in asia), are much better than over here, hands down. Kids there come here and perform superbly in math. There is a problem when the SATs and ACTs test levels of math that we should have completed in 8th grade (save geometry).
 

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The fastest, most effective, most reliable way to improve our nation's education is to allow school choice. Instead of the government assigning students to a public school, the government should pay for student vouchers so that they can go to whatever public or private school they want.

In most European countries, public education money is attached to the student rather than to the school and this works beautifully. Schools are forced to compete with one another for students. I should add, that this is similar to how our public education money is used for colleges in America, which is also a resounding success.

We need to phase vouchers in. Right now, 100% of taxpayer money for education goes directly to schools rather than students. If we phased it in over five years, so that 20% more money is attached to the students each year, we'd give public schools enough time to shape up or go out of business, without completely opening the floodgates to the best schools.
 

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The fastest, most effective, most reliable way to improve our nation's education is to allow school choice.
That's an assertion, not a fact. The best school systems in the world in fact, are all governmentally controlled and not privatized at all. There is no voucher system in Japan, Singapore, India or any of the other nations Americans are all worried about being better in education than we are.

Evidence to support the claim I quoted does not exist, while ample evidence to the contrary does.

In fact, just today Harvard released a study of the No Child Left Behind Act and deemed it a miserable failure, having worsened the educational system overall rather than improve any of it.
 

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Alastor said:
That's an assertion, not a fact.
Umm yes. An assertion which was then followed by several facts, which you chose to ignore.

Alastor said:
The best school systems in the world in fact, are all governmentally controlled and not privatized at all. There is no voucher system in Japan, Singapore, India or any of the other nations Americans are all worried about being better in education than we are.
I'm not talking about privatizing education; that's not what vouchers do. They simply give students public money to attend any public or private school that they want. In Japan, Singapore, or any of the other nations with good education, they do not assign students to a school. The United States is the only modern nation in the world that does that, to the best of my knowledge. If I'm mistaken about that, our education system is nevertheless certainly not the norm.

Alastor said:
Evidence to support the claim I quoted does not exist, while ample evidence to the contrary does.

In fact, just today Harvard released a study of the No Child Left Behind Act and deemed it a miserable failure, having worsened the educational system overall rather than improve any of it.
I agree with Harvard on that one. The No Child Left Behind Act is the antithesis of everything I've advocated here, so how does that refute my claim?
 
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Alastor said:
I think you have some unrealistic expectations of what kids are (or should be) capable of by certain ages.




On the instance of your Columbia students...

When I was in high school, everyone talked about how hard college would be if I ever got there. I didn't get there, I got kicked out of three schools. I dropped out of a fourth. I finally got my GED, and then my diploma, and less than 12 hours later was at Lackland AFB in Texas starting my basic training.

Four years later I left the military to go to college, which everyone said would be very very hard.

I was scared, because it was supposed to be so hard.

Three and a half years later, while mostly drunk and entirely sleep-deprived, while having rarely cracked a book and having ditched enough to get me booted from most classes, I walked across the stage to accept my degree in two major fields, History and Political Science (not slack majors, folks).

I also got handed my award for being the President of the debate team, the President of the National History Honors society (on my campus, not nationally), President of the Pre-law club, National Honors Student in both majors, member of two other clubs (because they had the hot girls)... And again, I was falling down drunk at the time.

I made academic scholarships every semester, was on the Dean's List, the President's list, and was one of the DJs for the radio station at night on weekends. I also worked full time while I went to school.

So did most of my friends.

We weren't especially bright. I've been tested; my IQ is somewhere in the low 100s - about average.

I partied very hard. But I also had just a genuine passion for learning. So did the guys and gals I hung out with in college. It's not a matter of brains or training. It's a matter of "want to." That cannot be taught in schools.

My friends and I all did very well in college, and I'm preparing to go get my doctorate from the same school as Condi Rice and Indira Ghandi. I'm not alone, some of my friends are going with me or are already there.

None of us were from Singapore.
Hint: History and Political Science are slack majors, unless you also look up to english majors. And perhaps if you'd been sober in class you'd have realized this.

Not to mention that the United States doesn't need more soft majors, it needs engineers, scientists, and competent technicians, though I have to confess that my own job security is enhanced greatly by the laziness of the American student and the negative image engineers have in the popular culture, both of which serve to depress the number of students willing to do what it takes to become useful.
 

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GySgt said:
Our environments have a lot to do with it too.

Face it, our environment is one of complete freedom, dissention, and expression. Our rights have come at a price. Our children are raised watching tv programming directed at selling and influencing more than ever. Our "cartoons" are crude and simple and our children watch them intently. Our music is very violent and aggresive. If you wrap all of this up and hurl it towards an impressionable young mind, we have a problem. Our teachers are constantly having to deal with discipline problems that we do not hear about from other countries. Our schools have metal detectors. The children who wish to learn must put up with the great number of students who want nothing to with school and "we can't make them."

Teachers blame the parents. Parents blame the teachers. Hillary blames the "village.":roll: The blame belongs on our society. We are not preparing our children properly for adulthood and for educational environments. These third world countries do not have such exposure forced upon their children. The freer and more progressive a society is, the harder it is to focus. What do the children in less developed countries have to focus on? To many out there, education is hammered as a means to glorious ends and success. In America, the quick buck is the ticket - whether it be from wearing Jordan's Nikes to being a multi-millionaire contracted athlete or winning the lottery.

Of course, this doesn't apply to all, but I'm sure you get my general point.
I"m sorry, what was that you said about cartoons? Courage the Cowardly Dog was not "simple". Nor was Samurai Jack. Outside of being one of the funniest cartoons ever, Spongebob Squarepants often has nuances if one cares to look for them.

Road Runner and Wile E Coyote, THAT was mindlessly crude and simple. Popeye...no nuances in Bluto, though no one knows where Swee'Pea came from...

Enough of cartoons. Take some time and watch them. It's far healthier than modern network shitcoms.

As for the "parent-teacher" problem...it's a lawyer problem. The teacher can't do anything, even if they wanted to, because they'll get arrested, they'll get fired, they'll get sued. Schools and districts face the same problem.

A girl classmate of my little girl, just this month, in the first grade, asked my girl to pull her pants down. A six year old girl asked this. It's very plain that child, who has an older brother, has some kind of problem at home. My little girl wasn't the only target, either. This kid's approached other classmates.

The teacher can't act. Nothing she can do. So social services is going to get a few calls from "concerned" parents suggesting they look into this kid's home.

As for the real education problem, the parents don't set standards for their kids. They don't pay attention to their kids, both parents are working heir tails off to pay for a house they can't afford, plus the day-care they need to enable the second parent to work full-time. Not to mention all the taxes they pay.

You weigh up everything, and the key is the parents. American parents are letting their kids down, and finding excuses elsewhere.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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-Demosthenes- said:
The point is that they don't have to be prepared as much as kids in "3rd world" or other countries.
Ridiculous. They have to be prepared more.

Statistics and calculus should be a pre-requisite for a high school diploma.

Effective writing skills and reading comprehension are no brainers. A high-school diploma used to have value. If they can't read and write, that diploma is fancy scratchy butt wipe paper.

They're 18 when they graduate. They have the privilege to vote. They should understand the basics of economics and investing, they should have to understand how the American government works. How else to break the logjam of Democrat//Republican corruption?

Shooting skills should be offered as an elective in all high schools. This will help them understand the Second Amendment much better. And if any of them become VP, maybe they'll learn the first basic rule of shooting: don't shoot until you see your target.

Given the nature of today's society, a high-school graduate should pass real biology, chemistry, and physics courses.

And if this is too rigorous for a high-school diploma, maybe we need to re-think high-school level education completely. Perhaps, in the spirit of liberal america, where rewards are handed out most generously to the least deserving, we give those incapable of passing the basic coursework I outlined a Certificate of Seat Filling, on a 24x24 inch parchment, and we give the real students a Diploma.
 
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