Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The dumbing down of America

Nothing makes me madder than to hear people and especially educators say handwriting is obsolete because with technology we will all be using computers and won't need to write. This is just another cop-out because the teachers would rather have school work turned in that has been done on a computer than to spend the time to decipher everyones handwriting. We have whole generations who were not taught properly how to write and no, printing is not easier to read or faster! And surprise surprise not everyone can afford a computer or to spend time or get to the library to use their computers.

Also I was reading just a few days ago that the USA has dropped from being the best educated people in the world because places like China, India and Japan push their children so hard to excel in things besides sports, like in the sciences and technology.

Instead we let the school systems throughout the country lower test requirements so more of the students can pass. Arizona adopted the AIMS tests literally 6 years ago and still many of our students cannot pass it even though it is a requirement to graduate. In fact, our school system here is so bad we have as many if not more charter schools than public schools now. Enough at any rate that the public school system cannot support all of the schools because they no longer get enough state and federal funding.

We mistakenly thought schools would improve if the teacher pay raises were tied to the percentage of children doing well and graduating. Instead the number of children put on Ritalin for behavior problems went up, teens learned it was better to skip a class than show up late and suspensions were handed out for little reason. And remember study hall where you were expected to STUDY? A thing of the past! If you get sent to study hall, now called detention, you are allowed no books, paper or writing impliments it is literally confinement and nothing else. What a waste of time, a teacher or monitor and minds.
I myself had two grand children who started out well in school. The boy brought home papers with excellent marks until he reached third grade where he was put on Ritalin and labeled ADHD. After that everything that went wrong in class he was singled out even before the facts were known. His parents kept on him because he was in trouble at school so by the time he reached middle school he had given up and after a few months he dropped out. As for the girl she was on the honor roll and approached by colleges while still in middle school. Then between the AIMS test and a suspension for smoking (at a nearby shopping mall) quit high school and settled for a GED.

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