Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Kid Airbag

On the general worthlessness of the US education system [split]

Recommended Posts

Kid Airbag said:

Because elementary/secondary schooling these days is abysmal.

Nah, but it would be much better if national/state standardized testing were eliminated.

Share this post


Link to post
Scuba Steve said:

Nah, but it would be much better if national/state standardized testing were eliminated.


Public schools are pretty awful, at least as far as grammar is concerned. I went to a Catholic school for kindergarten through 8th grade, and fortunately, we had a whole class devoted pretty much solely to grammar (our "English" and "Reading" classes were two entirely separate entities).

When I went to a public high school, I was astounded by how few kids had learned grammar. There was a unit in English 1 on grammar, but it was pretty brief, and I feel like the kids who had gone through public schools their whole lives still came away without knowing a whole lot.

Then when I got to college, in both Journalism 1 and Journalism 2, we had to take a grammar "pre-test" in which anyone scoring below 70% would have to take something called "grammar boot camp," which is some week-long extracurricular thing.

It wasn't a problem for me, but I was one of just 4 people in my J1 class to pass the grammar test the first time and avoid the extra classes. This wasn't terribly surprising, but then in J2, only about half of my class passed the test. I was literally the only person who knew what active and passive voice were. It was mind-blowing.

The only conclusion I can draw is that kids really aren't being taught grammar these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Kid Airbag said:

Public schools are pretty awful, at least as far as grammar is concerned.

Not to mention that whole "preparing people for life in general or anything else that matters" bit.

I'm surprised Liam doesn't have you on a daily dose of Gatto, I guess you guys don't talk very much these days. Admittedly I could do away with some of the overly dramatic stuff, but he's certainly right that the only hope for the system is to completely demolish it and rebuild it from scratch.

Share this post


Link to post

[Thread should be split to not derail megawad talk]

I'd agree that the US education system needs reform, but calling it "abysmal" or a "complete failure" is a bit extreme. In the early 80s the Reagan administration funded an investigation of the US education system which was released to the public as a document entitled "A Nation at Risk". The document describes the nation's education system as a failure and quote...

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war


Pretty strong words. However, the generation of students the articled called "failed" and said they would not surpass their parents in terms of "intelligence" went on to create the microprocessor revolution, develop the World Wide Web... all of this after the document said they would fail and that schools needed to do more to teach about these "computer" things.

My point? People have said US Schools are doomed for decades, and yet US Students are consistently involved in leading technological advancements.

The problems Schools are facing now is Inclusion, what do we do about students with disabilities and learning disorders, how do we keep them mainstreamed and in the classroom as much as possible. It is a huge financial burden for title 1 and social workers to provide additional help for these students. Unlike most nations in the world, the US teaches everyone, each student has the opportunity to have the same education as any other student. We no longer "track" students by forcing the "slower" kids into slower tracks and the smarter students to go to higher education, many times it is seen that "slower" students can achieve levels of intelligence as their counterparts.

No Child Left Behind requires the testing of ALL students, including students with disabilities. I could write an essay on that, but others have done enough of that for me. If the comparison is "Other nations have better test scores" the question is, What test scores are being submitted for comparison by other nations? Their higher tracked students or their lower students?

There is a lot of room for improvement in the US School system, but "Tearing it down and starting it again" is hardly necessary. A suggestion I might make could be year round school and the removal of the "Grade" System, making it easier to "hold kids back" by providing extra instruction as student move between different levels of instruction. But I would hardly call US School a failure.

Share this post


Link to post
Scuba Steve said:

[Thread should be split to not derail megawad talk]

Whoops. Good idea :P

Scuba Steve said:

However, the generation of students the articled called "failed" and said they would not surpass their parents in terms of "intelligence" went on to create the microprocessor revolution, develop the World Wide Web... all of this after the document said they would fail and that schools needed to do more to teach about these "computer" things.

Yet you have to wonder how many of these rare exceptions were a direct result of the system, or other devices.

The talk of the system is just that; talk of the system. Good teachers can and have broken through it and will certainly continue to do so, though they'll likely never reach true potential in it.

The focus was the massive decline of standards and expectations over at least the century, not decades, and ultimately, this entire focus on "intelligence" and test score comparisons as opposed to, say, actually being able to function in the world and around/with other people. Rebuilding from scratch doesn't imply nothing from the current setup is salvageable, just that the foundation it's based on and built into needs a total reconstruction, as it's become about as backwards as it could get (and that's a jinx if ever I've made one :P).

Share this post


Link to post
Lüt said:

The focus was the massive decline of standards and expectations over at least the century, not decades, and ultimately, this entire focus on "intelligence" and test score comparisons as opposed to, say, actually being able to function in the world and around/with other people.


I’m in France, and France’s teaching system is also turning into crap. The maths, history or French lessons are emptied. For example, now we teach 2.17/0.8 at 12 years old. Even good pupils’ orthography is surprising.
Bah, all they need is Doom lessons. OK Kevin, what monster do you encounter just after grabbing the red key card in Monster Condo? Huh? Monster Condo? Doom or Doom 2? Gotcha Kevin, there is no red key card, but a red skull key, and there is no trap here but hell knights.

Share this post


Link to post

In my opinion the secondary education system in this country isn't about learning; rather it is preparing students for work. Whatever knowledge acquired was second to the "education" process.

This is most apparent in the homework and in class assignments that were given out. The amount of work that was given was completely out of proportion to the material learned. It seems to me that these assignments weren't really about the class that they were given in; they were dry runs for the reports and forms that fill the modern workplace.

The majority of the material that was covered in my high-school had already been taught in middle-school, some of it even as early as elementary. There is no reason to go over the same facts a half dozen times throughout schooling, the kids who wanted to learn got them the first time around and the ones that didn't weren't going to care the sixth.

That is one of the big problems with the American school system. It tries to be homogenized, but that goal is completely unrealisitic. There needs to be two tracks of secondary education (much like many foreign school systems); one that trains non-academicly inclined students in skills for the workplace (with programs similar to many Community College offerings and partnerships with trade schools), and another for students who are going to move on to post-secondary education.

Ironically, as I am going through college I see that this is what high-school should have been like, moving through material efficiently and only using assessments to ascertain what you have learned.

Actually, college today is much like high-school was a half century ago. The problem with college now is that a degree is required for many jobs that just don't need it. This is watering down post-secondary education; as people are getting degrees that only require a pulse to graduate and then getting jobs that are essentially paper shuffling or being a salesman, careers that don't need the specialized instruction that a college should provide.

All in all, I'm saying that the American education system is seriously watered down.

Share this post


Link to post
Kid Airbag said:

The only conclusion I can draw is that kids really aren't being taught grammar these days.

As long as families dedicate large amnounts of money (even if it doesn't mean much to them particularly) to private education, the political spectrum won't care to have first class public education. Private edication would then be a mere and unnecessary privilige, and not something apparently necessary for proper schooling. It's pretty much the same issue that afflicts public health coverage.

But also, there's been a lot of technological change these past couple of decades, in an irregular fashion (some people are absolutely nerdified and others hardly come in touch with such technology except more causally), that seems to make it hard to find a proper system to apply to a whole nation or even state/province.

Secondary education in your country does seem to have issues, but at least it doesn't seem as rigid as it is in many public schools here (where people may be learning stuff that'll likely mean nothing in their current circumstances).

Anyhow, the English language is also somewhat of a mish mash in some respects, and you probably need too much of an effort on spelling to learn it "properly".

Share this post


Link to post

one of the big problems facing schools here is "social promotion", ie. allowing kids to pass on to the next grade by giving them dumbed down make-up tests or allowing them to do a simple book report when they fail at basic skills. this usually occurs at the grade school level, mostly 3rd grade, but the effects go on in to the later grades. the mayor of NYC, michael bloomberg, has taken steps to end this practice, much to the chagrin of parents.

this happened to me in high school. I was too busy cutting class and smokin weed my senior year to give a crap about gym and english. instead of going to summer or night school all I had to do was write a paper on a major sport for gym and, since I was an art major, an illustrated book report for english. this did lead to a scandal that lead to the ousting of the pricipal two years later.

I'm not sure if anything has changed much, but when I was in high school every student from our city was eligible for HEOP, the Higher Education Opportunity Program, because a New York City high school student was considered AUTOMATICALLY educationally disadvataged. kinda sad, huh?

Share this post


Link to post

The American public schools are liberal brainwashing camps. They are turning out a new generation of eco loving, tree hugging, overweight, pansies, who have no work ethics or idea of what it takes to survive in todays world. But hey, McDonalds always needs new people just like fat girls need love too.

Share this post


Link to post
Scuba Steve said:

Unlike most nations in the world, the US teaches everyone, each student has the opportunity to have the same education as any other student. We no longer "track" students by forcing the "slower" kids into slower tracks and the smarter students to go to higher education, many times it is seen that "slower" students can achieve levels of intelligence as their counterparts.

Yeah...I actually have a problem with that. Sure, slower kids can keep up with the average kids but what about the smarter-than-average kids? They get fucked. I should know, I was one of them. Not to sound egotistical or anything, but I was always way ahead of the other students and felt that class was a total brain drain. Nearly everyhting we went over in school was just a redundant retreading of what I already knew or ever worse, WHAT THEY ALREADY TAUGHT US. Seriously, I think the reason people in the US are less knowledgeable about any given subject is because they just get taught the same things over and over and over again instead of going on to different subjects. For instance, I remember taking world history 4 times in my educational career. 3rd grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 11th grade. Each time it was the same damn thing. We learn about the Mesopotamian cultures, then the Greeks, then the Romans, then quickly we squeeze in the middle ages at the end of the school year. It always struck me as rather Christianity-centric as we never learned about the Indians or Chinese or Mayans or Mali, God forbid. I can't tell you how many times I've had to define what the "Fertile Crescent" is. I won't even get into the dull and remedial novels they forced us to read in English.

Anyway, my point is that to those who were "blessed" with a quicker learning ability than the others are basically sentenced to over a decade of long, drawn-out cerebral torture. Sure, there are programs for the brighter kids, but in Elementary school it was like one class a week, then they cut funding and it was one class a month, then funding was once again slashed and it was gone altogether. By the time I got to high school where they actually have year-round "honor" courses, I was so bored by school that I had all but given it up entirely and my grades were abysmal. Yes, it was my fault, but still...the attention span of the average child is shorter than the width of an electron already, then you ask of them to spend years hearing what they already know and, well, fuck. I have a lot of resentment against the adult figures of my childhood.

Dr. Zin said:

In my opinion the secondary education system in this country isn't about learning; rather it is preparing students for work. Whatever knowledge acquired was second to the "education" process.

I'd disagree there. How many people actually have jobs where they fill out paperwork all day? And of those who do, how many take their work home with them which eats up all their free time? Yeah, all that work we did in class was busywork to keep us out of our teachers' and parents' hair.

Conclusion: public schools are neither for education nor work experience. They're merely the biggest daycare system in the country.

Erp said:

The American public schools are liberal brainwashing camps. They are turning out a new generation of eco loving, tree hugging, overweight, pansies, who have no work ethics or idea of what it takes to survive in todays world. But hey, McDonalds always needs new people just like fat girls need love too.

Go back from the cave in which you spawned, vile troll.

Share this post


Link to post
Danarchy said:

How the school system shit on him.


Well, that was pretty much my schooling experience too. Except that the honors program was merely cutting out some of the worksheets and losing a few of the more irritating dip-shits.

Danarchy said:

I'd disagree there. How many people actually have jobs where they fill out paperwork all day? And of those who do, how many take their work home with them which eats up all their free time? Yeah, all that work we did in class was busywork to keep us out of our teachers' and parents' hair.


It isn't filling out paperwork all day, per-say. Rather, besides the entry level jobs, look at stuff like managers. They have to fill out all kinds of forms and the like. You know, hiring people, placing orders, stuff like that.

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×