"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Thoughts - On a serious note

Only 53% of Illinois high school juniors passed the state achievement tests last spring. The reading portion of the test brought the highest rate at 54% and math and science were tied at 52.7%.  What is interesting is that 81% of elementary students (grades 3-8) in Illinois passed the tests.

It would be logical to think that those high school students who do poorly or who are uninterested in school would  drop-out by their junior year of high school.  If that is indeed the case, the 53% rate is even more serious because it does not even include those particular drop-outs that might skew scores to the low end.

These numbers just confirm my long-held belief that the public school systems do an effective job of erasing the innate excitement of learning that all children start out with in life, and by the time the students reach high school the public schools have pretty much finished the job.

When sports and extra-curricular activities are valued with the same or greater importance as reading, math, and science, when tenured teachers are allowed to continue their employment without regard to productivity, when public funds are used for shiny new facilities and increases in administrative salaries,  the focus of what education ought to be is lost.

To instill a zest for eduction in youth does not require 6-figure administrative salaries, degreed teachers,  a vast amount of sports programs, or fancy new buildings.  Learning can take place anywhere and can be taught by anyone who is passionate about discovery and knowledge and who can infect those around him with the same excitement.

Here's another example of public school failure.  Four different people proof-read the billboard before it was erected:


Crockhead said...

I keep wanting to, and forgetting, to take a picture of a sign put up by our local school district for its alternative school for kids kicked out of the regular classrooms. It says, "Academic Academy." I doubt they know what either "academic" or "academy" means.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

crock: And the name seems a bit repetitively redundant.

Crockhead said...

You can say that again.