27 July 2009

Pin the Fail on the Donkey

Remember the Horse in Animal Farm

Okay, I guess I'll have to start further back. Animal Farm is a satirical novel written by George Orwell, of 1984 fame, that portrays governments and their personnel as members of the animal kingdom. But some animals, like the Horse, are noble creatures. In the Horse's case, he works hard, and as more and more unfair demands are made on him, his only response is to bunch his massive shoulders and grunt "I must work harder!"

Until he dies. Yeah, I know, spoiler, but it's not like you were actually going to go out and read the darn book. Doesn't matter that Orwell is one of the greatest and most influential writers of the 20th century. No. No big deal. You never covered him in school, right?

Could it have been because you didn't have enough time? Not enough hours in the school day throughout 12 years to get to Orwell, Vespucci, hydrolysis, quantum theory, transcript RNA, matrices, the Magna Carta, subjunctives, Caligula, Oppenheimer, phlogistum, Keppler's Laws of Planetary Motion and MacBeth?

Well, golly. Not enough time, huh? So how about We, or rather the insipid excuse We have for a (mis)Education Department, adding 1 hour of school every day? You know, in a "More time is better" kinda way. Now Our kids--Our poorly-taught, poorly-treated public school kids--can enjoy the dubious benefits of ramshackle buildings, insufficient facilities and irregularly trained simians pretending to care about teaching an extra hour a day.


Here's My three strikes version of why this is a monumental, colossal, gigantic, enormous, massive, humongous, gargantuan, titanic and super-sized waste of time:

1) By and large, Our teachers are incompetent, or as I put it, too lazy and too stupid. A very good friend of Mine recently passed the College Board test required to become a teacher. His scores were 136, 134 and 131 on a max per section of 160. Pretty good. But the median and average scores per section were across the board (pun!) 100 to 102. The test is worth 160 points, the median (most common) and average scores were about 101...and the lowest freaking score a person could get was 40! FORTY!! You could keel over dead after writing your name on the damned test and you'd get a FORTY! 

My friend's scores ranked him in the top 5% in one category and Top 10% in the others...and he hadn't taken an Education course in over 3 years. Too many teachers out there are in the "100" category--on a scale of 1 to 1,000. Giving these mental defectives more time to prove their worthessness is idiotic. You can't make stupid less so by spending more time with it.

2) There aren't enough resources for the present or the immediate future. Our schools lack adequate science equipment, computers and support materials. Most of Our kids don't know what an Art class really is, what a Music teacher can add to their lives and too many of them are even missing out on Phys Ed. So in this "sheet too short for the bed" melodrama We are going to ask the system to make another hour "educational"? Bullshit. As the school My oldest nephew is going to now decided, they will change their class schedule from the traditional 8-12 noon, 1-3 p.m. set-up to a new 8-11 a.m., 1-4 p.m. deal. Uh-huh. A 2-hour gap in the middle of the day where students can do what they do in classrooms: nothing. Why? No teachers, no materials, no way no how. When you ask lazy stupid people to make an effort, their only effort will be to find a way to not have to make the effort.

3) It doesn't work. Here's the $100 million proof. Three years, 39 schools, longer day, longer school year and in the end: "...(B)oth students and teachers said they were exhausted by the extra hour a day in the classroom and the heavy workload." Oh really? Like students ever complain of being underworked and teachers ever ask for closer scrutiny of their (feeble attempts at) work?


This is a donkey's ass of an idea. I'd call it a Horse's ass of an idea, but at least the Horse wanted to work harder...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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