Skip to comments.If Schools Were Like 'American Idol' . . .
Posted on 10/08/2010 1:24:41 PM PDT by iowamark
Unless we measure success by how children perform, we'll have higher standards for pop stars than public schools.
Over the past few years, I have often complained about a hidebound culture that prevents many newspapers from responding to the challenges of new technology. There is, however, another hidebound American institution that is also finding it difficult to respond to new challenges: our big-city schools.
Today, for example, the United States is home to more than 2,000 dysfunctional high schools. They represent less than 15% of American high schools yet account for about half of our dropouts. When you break this down, you find that these institutions produce 81% of all Native American dropouts, 73% of all African-American dropouts, and 66% of all Hispanic dropouts.
At our grade schools, two-thirds of all eighth-graders score below proficient in math and reading. The average African-American or Latino 9-year-old is three grades behind in these subjects... In plain English, we trap the children who need an education most in failure factories...
Clearly it's not for any lack of money. Over the past three decades, we've nearly doubled spending on K-12 education in real terms. So President Obama was absolutely right to declare the other day that "we can't spend our way out of this problem." Which begs the question: How can we spend so much with so little to show for it?
The answer is that while the system is failing our children, it works very well for some adults. These adults include the leaders of the teachers unions. They include the politicians whom the unions reward with their cash and political support. They include the vast education bureaucracies. In business terms, we have a system that rewards the providers and punishes the customers.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
"who say's they ain't?"
The problem is that schools are not toughening kids through self discipline, but coddling their sensibilities. For example, instead of telling a student who bullies other students to stop it and actually enforce school as a place of learning, kids who are getting bullied won’t be able to concentrate on their work and pass. Schools are being treated like social netowrking centers, country clubs. It’s not about learning, it’s about who you know and students act accordingly. If a student knows that in order to pass, all he has to do is study hard, then he’ll study and not torment his peers. But, if he’s taught that he has to know the right people and keep the right people, he’ll become cutthroat in how he gains the favor of the person he needs to know and keeping it. Keeping that favor usually means keeping down and destroying other people who might be competition for said favor.
Schools are also being run by administrators living in denial or determined to not get their hands dirty dealing with the bullies. Too many adults in authority don’t, they want someone else to do it. Which is why kids who get bullied either do it and get punished, or suffer. Or the kid does it, gets punished, but the cowardly administrator secretly thanks them.
If someone wants to drop out of school that is that person’s own problem. Instead of wasting resources on motivating people who do not want to be in school to be in school, why not focus on students who want to work hard and make something of themselves? Even if it is a small number of students, they could excel greatly if only the resources being wasted on dropouts were instead invested in these students.
Meanwhile the faculty in Catholic schools make considerably less in salary and bennies than their public school counterparts.
This is not to say turning over the educrat establishment to the Catholics is the answer to the problem.
You will find the same performance gap if you compare schools run by other Christian denominations to the public schools. It is just that the Catholic school system is so large and so old that libtards cannot easily dismiss it as data bias due to cherry picking students, though they still try.
Your post is perfectly reasonable. That’s nothing the Democrat Party and the teachers’ unions are going to find reasonable, though. Those are the kinds of people who believe that promoting pot usage and gangster rap will encourage children to come to school. I have little faith that the necessary reforms will be enacted without toppling the entire rotten edifice of public schooling, however.
I realize that the rest of my post will be controversial, but I would also argue that public humiliation of bullies and others who contribute towards a wanton school environment would be a useful method to keep them from harassing the rest of the students. Does a kid get Fs in the class? Okay, but he has to attend a 6-hour-a-week seminar with a tutor. Does a kid bring pornography magazines to class? Well, the administrator seizes them in front of the class, fines the kid for bringing lewdness into the classroom, and suspends the child for a good month. Does a child severely injure another child? Okay, but the administrator gets to publicly flog you and expel you. Instilling respect towards authority should be our top priority, and I’ve found that public humiliation is a useful method to keep children from failing and rescinding into criminal activity. The free market recognizes the importance of maintaining order; the public schools don’t, and never will.
Prior to the start of the school year, he had the faculty give him the names of all the drug dealers, gang bangers and major miscreants.
The first day of school he had an all-school assembly and called this relatively small handful of jerks to the stage as though they were going to receive some sort of honor or special recognition. He then called some uniformed security guards to surround them and told the assembled student body to take a good look at them because they wouldn't be attending school there anymore.
As the guards escorted them off the stage and out the door, everyone else applauded. I realize it was only a movie (though it was based on a true story), but the looks on the hoodlum's faces were priceless!
The Christian schools don’t need to take over the school system by mandate. The free market will naturally weed out those schools which allow depravity and crime to foster within their environment. The ACLU and the NEA know this, and fight to maintain our public schools. As long as teachers’ unions are allowed to exist, public schools will continue to churn out failures.
On this post, I meant the second-person usage of *you* to apply to the kid. I should have also mentioned that I think the rest of the class should know if the student is a failure; in an attempt to regain favor with his classmates, a student will study harder.
Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.
What a great movie.
I dream of the day bullies are horsewhipped and shoved into special ed. Since their behavior disrupts the mainstream school environment, they should be kept in the fringes where their behavior, if it continues, will lead them to that very place in society. I am sure that if companies ran schools, the behavior of the students would be a reflection of how the companies are seen. Double incentive to maintain order and safety. We need to stop trying to mainstream juvenile criminals by subjecting decent students to their antics. Same with society.
American Idol has no problem saying that not everyone can sing equally well; that someone like Carrie Underwood deserves to continue in the competition and win, while a William Hung does not. American Idol would never give trophies to everybody in the competition so that nobody’s “self-esteem” would be hurt. When Simon was on the show, he had no problem telling people they were untalented and should go into a different line of work. Maybe schools SHOULD take a lesson from the show!
I just find it ironic that we’re shoving our gifted to the side to worry more about criminals and thugs, while the gifted have to fend for themselves against bullies and in other countries, the thugs and bullies and criminals get punished while the gifted get rewarded and helped in any way the governments can do for them.
American Idol faces and accepts (and forces others to accept) reality. Something our school systems refuse to do.
60 years of liberalism will do that.......