Monday, January 16, 2006

One major reason the public schools are failing

When I was a kid, I was in a special program for Gifted students. To cut costs, they cut the program. I loved the program because it was fun. I learned Greek mythology and the Latin language. Well, Greek mythology didn't help my day to day existence (it did make Clash of the Titans more enjoyable, especially when I got a chance to explain everything they got wrong), but knowing some Latin definitely did.

After they cut the program, I had nothing to look forward to in school besides sports and recess. My grades dropped and I didn't get A's again until college. It's because I was bored out of my mind.

It's not just me. A lot of Gifted students went through the same thing. But Gifted programs everywhere are getting cut so we can deal with the lowest common denominator and teach illegals English.

These illegals don't even take school seriously. Their parents don't care about education and when the grades come home, at least I got yelled at when they were subpar. You and I both know this, it's just everyone's afraid to say it because they're afraid of offending people.

Californians are funny like that. Awhile back, some concerned parents got the politicians to design a bill to deny children of illegals public education in this state. They were sick of the costs associated with ESL (English as a Second Language), which require cuts in other departments. You'll hear Californians behind closed doors talk about the damage illegal immigration is doing to the public education system, but when there are other people around, they're afraid to bring it up.

We have our priorities screwed up. Instead of putting all the resources into teaching the lowest common denominator, we need to make American kids excel in math and science again. We're falling behind because our priorities are all out of whack.

Everyone's also afraid to tie illegals with gangs too and will be quick to point out there are American born kids in gangs as well. Well, no crap. But let's look at percentages for a second and we all know that the per capita percentages of American born kids in gangs isn't even close to the per capita percentages of kids of illegals in gangs. Not even close.

We all know about gangs and schools and all the wonderful benefits gang bangers bring to public education, so I don't even think I need to discuss this.

Why am I singling out poor, defenseless illegals? Because I'm tired of my property taxes going to waste. I'm tired of hearing people complain about how bad American public schools have become. And I'm tired of people dodging the root cause entirely because they're afraid of being unpolitically correct.

Let's be honest, let's drop all the p.c. crap, and only then can we decide how to set up an honest policy on fixing the schools. You tighten up border security (and yes, this includes illegals from Asia, Europe, and Africa as well), and I guarantee you test scores will go up again.

With legal immigration, we get what we need from other countries. With illegal immigration, we get other countries' trash. And people wonder why our test scores keep falling behind other industrialized nations.

NOTE: Schools with higher percentages of illegal aliens often have to cut or drop entirely art, music, gifted, shop, and other programs in favor of ESL programs. I strongly believe these programs are all an integral part of a truly balanced education.

Also note I'm not singling out illegals from Mexico. From Asia, we're getting a trade in sex slaves. Yes, sex slaves here in America. From Europe, we're getting mob elements, and also scores of Eastern European prostitutes. Do we want all this stuff or do you think it's about time we took our borders seriously?

22 Comments:

Anonymous jesse said...

Zombie,

I hear you. Was in some of those classes in school and they really served to make it tolerable to go to school. You have certainly identified a great problem.

You have been on this coast much longer than I have, and probably have seen a great deal more of this sort of thing. But I have to say that being out here over the past couple of years has changed my perspective on this a bit.

1. Illegal immigration is a problem. It is illegal. It often brings crime and huge social issues (over-urbanization, etc.). We need to do something to slow or stop it, quickly and seriously.

That being said...

2. There are a LOT of illegal immigrants who are simply looking to escape tyranny and build a better life. I have run into several of these people who understand what the US is about more than most of us do, simply because they were trying to make an honest living in Mexico, but the corrupt gov't, etc. made it impossible. They want to live where you don't have to bribe people to do business, and where the police aren't going to take your brother away and demand a ransom to get him back. I don't agree with how they got here, but I have to give them some respect. Many of those I have run into are simply hardworking folks who end up pretty conservative and pretty pro-American because they know what the alternative is.

3. I have a friend who teaches ESL at a public high school in SB. Her students are normal high school students with all the craziness that comes with that. But they are motivated. I was with her at a restaurant one time and one of her students (who had hopped the fence a few months before)was our waiter. This kid is working three jobs while going to high school to learn English so he could make his life better.

3. We need to find a good solution somewhere between supporting illegal immigration by giving healthcare, education, and eventually citizenship to illegal immigrants and their families and leaving them as a poor, uneducated segment of our society with all of the ills that come with that.

I would love to see someone create endowed free private schools that offered a better, liberal arts education through high school, so as to make our public school system as disposable as it is obsolete.

1/16/2006 8:39 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Jesse - I'll address your issues.
1) Agreed. We need to enforced these laws or else other laws become meaningless.
2) Very true, but as I've said in the past, these are the people who should be fighting their own government to reform. As Edward Abbey said, turn them back, but hand them a rifle on the way out to finish their revolution.
3) There will always be exceptions. I'm making a blanket generalization and I hope I made that clear.
4) Well, I'd rather send illegals back. Illegals are the main reason for urban sprawl. That's a later post though (already half-written, but I won't do it this week).

As for private schools vs public schools, I won't get into that yet. I do believe both have their place.

1/16/2006 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Yeah. In theory I agree with most of your points. The problems come when we try to actualize them in the uber-democratic nation that we have become. It takes a catastrophic event like 9-11 to muster the kind of stomach to deal with a real issue that requires serious decision making, and even then you have a mandate for maybe 60 days before we qualify our collective memory.

2) Give 'em a gun and you are 'nation-building'. And of course we can't do that: The Kennedys would have fit.

3) Blanket generalizations are the best kind. Only slightly better than Afghan generalizations, though.

4) On the whole I would agree with you, provided:
-We find someone at home who wants to pick our fruit and run our warehouses, etc.
-We have generous LEGAL immigration programs so our population doesn't decline (one of the surest signs your civilization is toast.) We have always been and always should be a nation of immigrants, because immigrants remember the alternatives.

I look forward to your post on urban sprawl (LA sprawl is killing the Southwestern US by sucking it dry of water.) And on education!

I yield the balance of my time...

1/16/2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Bo Salisbury said...

I can't believe it... I substantially disagree with you, ZS, for the first time. However, it may be due to my ignorance of the current state of affairs, since I no longer interact on a regular basis with local educators, counselors or administrators. I really haven't paid much attention to the illegal's impact on public schools.

I think the root of the problem, particularly in California, is a cultural/institutional shift, which took place over the second half of the last century. In a nutshell, the education professionals, idealogues and teacher's unions said, in essence, "You parents are doing the best you can be expected to, but your kids are not getting the best. Give us your children at a younger age and we will not only educate them, we will socialize them, teach them personal hygiene, ensure proper nutrition, give them moral/ethical teaching and provide a myriad of creative outlets for your little ones."

A generation which had only seen the good in government and were coming off the successes of World War II, the New Deal, vaccination programs, promising public school experiments and stores full of food and merchandise for the first time in their lives, said "Okay."

Now, more than fifty years later, with professional teachers exhausted and demoralized, administrators making tough decisions for the very survival of their institutions, the idealogues are still going to graduate school to come up with the next fix for all our problems and the unions have shifted from the classroom to become cheerleaders for the DNC, hoping to line their pockets.

It is completely broken, totally lost... sure, you may know some good teachers (I do), you may have some successful students, but if you stand back and look at the big picture, you see a lumbering, diseased institution reeling and stumbling, like some giant Brontosaurus lurching toward extinction.

It's really tragic, because the very people who are mired in this morass have brought it upon themselves. The rest of us, while being dragged along with them, are not in a hopless situation. There are personal solutions, like being totally involved with your kids and investing 4 or 5 hours each week to monitoring your kid's classroom, assignments, teachers, etc. (Denise and I know from experience). You can also homeschool or forgo some goodies and pay for private education.

The answer for the big problem? Get the money out of the public schools and the unions, back into the hands of parents and private institutions. Oh, and before someone involuntarily vomits some bile about damage to public education or our country or how unfair it would be to ghetto dwellers and the poor, two things:


1) Public education is already a shambles

2) My family and I participated in something similar to a voucher system and it is preferable to anything my wife, my children or I experienced in our public schooling

There is an answer to this dilemma, but it is radical, painful and would require a lot of adult thinking and responsibility to make it happen. So, I have no hope to see it take place in my lifetime.

1/16/2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger Dawner said...

Hey Zombie, Do you know why Mexico doesn't have an olympic team? Stop me if you have heard this b4..Because everyone that can run, jump or swim are already here.
I could go on and on about this never ending problem but I am in total agreeance with you, "something needs to be done!" Later

1/16/2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger lime said...

i am not in an area where illegals are an issue and so i admit i am less aware. so i don't feel i can necessarily commnet intelligently on that aspect. i do agree strongly with the need for good gifted education though. i went through a gifted progrma and it made a difference for me in terms of motivation.

we asked to have my son tested for the same because he was clearly ahead of his peers and bored out of his skull. third grade and he had taught himself division and all his square roots facts, drew accurate maps of the usa with all the capitals located and labelled (freehand), creative writing in his freetime complete with his own illustrations. i mean obviously some real motivation at the very least.

they disqualified him based on a borderline IQ test and a lack of recommendation form an incompetent teacher who couldn't figure out how to challenge him. never mind the motivation, sophisitcated sense of humor and the off the chart acheivement test results. they school district doesn't want to ID gifted kids, then they are legally required to provide for them. We have special ed students moving in by droves because the local developers are advertising across the state border that we have great school for special ed students. the schools are forced to deal with these kids since this stupid no child left behind act requires these kids to gain proficiency. therefore gifted kids who will succeed on their own are ignored.

all we are doing is bredding mediocrity and it infuriates me.

1/16/2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger bsoholic said...

We have quite the number of illegals here surprisingly. Mostly from Mexico and the middle eastern countries. To be honest though I'd never really thought about it concerning public education.

As far as the whole PC thing goes - I totally agree!

1/16/2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

Your hypothesis is utterly ridiculous. You blame illegals for every problem facing Californians..that is a crock and its thinly veiled racisim in my book.

I am tired of supporting drug addicts..so what do we do with them, we cant send them "back" anywhere if their citizens..which the majority are. Talk about crime statistics..I think you can blame more crime on drugs and drug use than you can on illegals. If you want me to post some statistics on that I will be happy to, along with where I got them..the FBI.

You don't address the fact that Ahnold and the governors before him STEAL money for school funding to put into infrastructure and other "pet" projects. THAT is a major reason the schools can't get ahead..their money goes to other expendatures and its never returned. I know this because I go to board of supervisors meetings here in my town and I hear them bitching about it. Your property taxes arent going to waste, they are keeping the state running in most cases. Its the biggest tax base in the state.

All gangs are made up of illegals..o please. I would hate to bust your chops on that one..but sadly your mistaken. I would like to know where you got this "factoid" to support your comment..its so far off base its off the planet from what I have read regarding gangs and their activity. If your speaking about Latin gangs, which I think you are but you dont say it,you could probably make a good arguement but even that is stretching it to the limit.

Poor schools in poor neighbors suck..like this is news. You dont see alot of problems in the affluent communities and their schools. The problem is not with illegals when it comes to schools, its the schools within the poverty level communities, poor folks dont pay property taxes, they dont own any property. We need to break the cycle of poverty, but you choose to blame the illegals for this problem too.

If you need some group to "blame" for all the problems in society and schools in particular you need to look no farther than in the mirror.Its everyone's fault that the schools are in disarray and underperforming. The money needs to stay with the counties and their school budgets.But thats not going to happen anytime soon. Oh yeah..every time there is a school bond..anywhere in the state..they get voted down..jeez..why is that you say?? because folks that DONT have kids vote it down..even folks WITH kids vote them down. Start putting money into the school budgets instead of taking it away and perhaps the important subjects can get taught again.

1/16/2006 1:37 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

We don't have an illegal problem here either, but our schools are sliding downhill too.
I agree with a lot of what Bo and Lime said. Here schools started their decline when they decided to mainstream EVERYBODY. They quit dividing the kids into low, medium and high classrooms. The teachers no longer had to strain themselves when it came to teaching low or high classes. Now they all teach to the middle group. The low kids are struggling and demoralized. The high kids are bored. As Lime said, the high kids are ignored because they can pass the required tests without help.

1/16/2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous jesse said...

ThsMom,

Since "the high kids are ignored because they can pass the required tests without help" maybe we SHOULD legalize the marijuana.

If everybody is high, test scores peak, and we are good as gold.

1/16/2006 2:27 PM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

I am a great teacher. I know this because no one is EVER bored in my class. I have special work set up for the gifted students (I actually think totally outside the box and have a rather high IQ--not bragging, just letting you know that I understand the position that these smart kids are in). Every student knows that they are important, and that they are not allowed to be bored! I even go to the public library to get books for my classroom that have to do with the specific interests of students who finish their work early. (I don't believe in giving the early finishers 'make work' because I don't feel they should be punished with extra work because they are smarter. I may have them think of a project they would like to complete in a certain amount of time, etc.)

I teach all of my students with the 'differentiated instruction' method in mind: we all have different learning styles and different levels of learning skills. These things all need to be addressed in order for each student to reach his or her full potential. I think it's the teacher's responsibility to make sure that their students aren't bored in class. Yes, this makes for a lot of extra work that we don't get paid for (and don't even START with me on the pay thing. I don't make enough money to rent my own apartment in the town that I work in! Why don't I quite and get a higher paying job? I'd rather be poor and love what I do than be rich and hate my life. Also, the kids need teachers like me. Teachers that care about them.)

I have to disagree with you on the 'illegal parents' not caring. I teach in the lowest socio-economic school in my district of 11 schools. My school has tons of ESL (English as a Second Language) students. It has been MY experience that the Indian and Korean parents push their kids harder than any other students in the entire school. I even had a couple of Latino parents who were visibly upset because their kids weren't as 'gifted' as they would have liked them to be.

It's also been my experience that the parents of the American parents were the worst when it came to studying with their kids and discipline. This may have to do with the economic background that I spoke of above. (And just so no one gets misled with my blogging name--Bhakti, I am a third generation American of Irish and English decent.)

You know that I never play the devil's advocate, especially with you, Zombie Slaya; however, it's obvious that our experiences have been quite different. Perhaps this is because I live on the east coast and you live on the west. Very interesting, to be sure.

p.s. My doctor and I have deduced that the pain in my arm will not get any worse from typing, so I'll type as much as I can bear! :)

1/16/2006 3:10 PM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

PS I just read LIME's comment. I really wish that Lime would bring up the fact that his son is not being pushed in school. I TOTALLY believe that it is a disservice to a child if he or she is bored.

Every good teacher should know that if a student is bored it either means that the student is absolutely lost and doesn't grasp a thing, or the student is bored because he or she is not being challenged.

If Lime knows that his son is not being challenged, I certainly hope he has taken this up with the teacher and/or principal.

Good luck, Lime!!! :)

1/16/2006 3:12 PM  
Blogger mckay said...

yep. forget building a fence...build the great wall of the americas. With a crock infested moat. that's what i'm talkin about. Let them come here the correct way and I’ll welcome them with open arms.

When someone’s deported, put them on a jail bus bound for the border and kick em out. don't put them on the street with a stern look and order them to go home. they laugh in our faces and go back to their illegal lives.

I once ran a business with my ex. I caught a new hire in the back using our laminator to finish his fake I.D. When I walked into the room, there were 4 workers all gathered around the machine helping him. They looked at me and laughed sheepishly. Needless to say I didn’t let the illegal work for us, and I never trusted our workers again.

1/16/2006 3:21 PM  
Blogger lime said...

bhakti, thanks for the comments. my son's boredom was due to the teacher providing absolutely no challenge whatsoever. zero. zip. zil. we took it up with her, with the principal, with the school psychologist during the testing process. made no difference whatsoever. i did make specific requests for this year's placement and my son has a wonderful teacher this year. one who does challenge him and who fosters his creativity. she is worth her weight in gold. oddly, she asked me during the first parent/teacher conference if we had ever considered having him tested for the gifted program 'since it is obvious to me that he has no intellectual peers among his classmates.' i told her what had happened and she was aghast. i'd like to clone her for the rest of my son's school career. btw, last year my husband and i did what we could to try to enrich our son on our own. that wasn't so much of a problem as the negative attitude toward school that developed as a result of having a really awful teacher. thanks for the comments and apologies to zb for kind of getting off track here with my own issues.

1/16/2006 3:44 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Thank God for teachers like you Bhakti! We have a few teachers like you in our system, but not nearly enough. Sometimes all it takes is one good teacher to instill a love of learning in a child.
In northern MN you could afford to BUY a very nice house on teacher wages. Ever think of moving? ;)

You're so right Lime. Bad teachers can destroy a child's self-esteem and desire to learn. I'm happy your son has a great teacher this year!

1/16/2006 4:13 PM  
Blogger neal said...

Interesting post and comments. I agree partially with what has been said and some of the things I disagree with.

First off my son was in one of those GATE programs in elementary school. It was a waste of his time to tell you the truth. The classes were dumbed down just so they could have enough kids to even hold them. My son complained that all they did was read books and talk about them. They needed something to utilize the abilities of the truly gifted kids, not just find a way to have an extracurricular activity for average kids.

My son is probably a mathematical genius. When he was in advanced algebra in middle school he would draw cartoon characters all through class. At the end of class the teacher would put the problems on the board for the students to copy for homework. My son would stand up and stare at the blackboard then write down the answers without doing the formulas. He always got 100% and the teacher said he should be in second year high school math but the school district didn't allow for that. He has always been in the top 2% of the state in his end of year testing for math also. I even bought one of those self test IQ books for him and he tested at about 175.

With that said the school district here is comprised of american born kids, Hmongs and Hispanics. A good portion of the kids who fail to do well are of the Hispanic race but there is also a big problem in our area with Hmong gangs. So you can't say gangs cause a lack of doing well in school although it can be partially to blame in some cases.

Gangs are another issue that I won't even bother to go into now because they get my blood boiling so bad I can't even think straight.

I think a lot depends on the parents. Some of the parents are barely able to get by with their limited English and their math is rudimentary at best. So these kids struggle and end up becoming a burden that dumbs down the curriculum for the rest of the kids.

When my wife was pregnant I read books to her enlarged stomach. When my son was able to sit up by himself we held up math and alphabet flashcards to him. By the time he was in kindergarten he could read Disney books and count to one million. But how many parents take that kind of time to push their kids? I constantly am on his butt about doing the best he can in school and he consistently gets straight A's. So it is paying off for us but like I said, when the parents are barely fluent in English that is not always the case.

Does that mean that these kids don't deserve an education? No it doesn't because they will eventually become burdens upon our social service system if they don't. But it doesn't mean that they should be allowed to slow down our public school systems. These kids need to be taught in an environment where they are among kids with the same difficulty, not mixed in with those who should be in advanced classes.

That may sound like discrimination and segregation but if the system works properly these kids could be brought up to speed without being a burden to the rest of the classrooms.

Now, about illegal immigration. I am all against it. I think if you come across the border illegally you should be sent back. You don't deserve the same rights and privilages that those who went through the proper channels deserve. That being said, face it, there are some jobs that the average white guy just won't take like farm labor. So we need to make it legal for them to come over here if they have a bonifide job lined up as a farmworker. But if they come over on a worker visa and get into trouble they should be sent home. The same goes for their children. If they come over to work they should be accountable for the actions of their kids. If their kids screw up and join gangs, Adios, back to your home land for you. The same also goes for the education of their kids. If they don't do well in school they should be sent packing.

Illegal immigration is a problem. I legally brought my wife from the Philippines here. We filled out a petition for her sister...7 YEARS AGO...and still no visa. So it really pisses me off when someone can slip across the border and enter this country and then expect the working people to pay for their kids education, their medical expenses and their food stamps.

It is particularly bad when it comes to the Hmongs. They are all over driving brand new Toyota trucks and vans, you see them shopping at the grocery store with food stamps and then they pay for those things that food stamps won't buy with rolls of $100 bills. I don't have that kind of loose cash and I work my tail off and pay taxes. So I think immgigrants should be given a time limit to get financially independent of the social service programs. If they don't meet the deadline then back to their home land.

I could go on and on but I think I have written enough to fill a short book already.

1/16/2006 5:56 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

Bush's "No Child Left Behind" bull is a total crock and a burden on the educational systems as well. Mainstreaming children with mental and physical handicaps is a burden on the system too. But they are both mandated and must be adhered to. The "dumbing down" of classrooms to reach the lowest common denominator does not always mean its the "illegals" causing it..far from it with the mainstreaming and NCLB act.

Good teachers will inspire..bad teachers will ruin students for the life of their education..unless the parents get involved!! A lot of misery can be traced to parents that complain and yet do nothing when their child is bored or not keeping up with a class. Make the teachers and the parents accountable. Work to get things changed instead of heaping blame on a specific group.

If you want to end illegal immigration then do something about it..make it a priority with your senators and congress reps. I dont care if they build the Great Wall along our borders. I do not favor letting illegal immigration continue at its present pace, its overwhelming our infrastructure and our human services. But..its not the ROOT cause for all our misery.

1/16/2006 7:24 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Jesse - With legal immigration, we pick what we want to pick. We get to sift through everyone and pick the best and the brightest, thus insuring America continues its dominance.

As for picking the fruit, we had plenty of fruit pickers before the surge of illegals. With illegals, we no longer have safety regulations ("you're complaining about the safety conditions? do you want me to call immigration on you?"). This is why we had so many illegals die picking grapes last year.

Bo - We don't necessarily disagree actually. I'm mixed on what you're talking about. For one, I want politics out of public schools. I've seen first hand the damage political correctness has done to kids. You've heard me talk about what they've tried to do to my son before in public schools.

But I really think the big problem with California and other border states is money diverted from other programs to ESL. With all that money wasted, cool stuff like art, music, gifted programs, shop classes, etc., all goes kaput.

What you're discussing is another can of worms that I'll really need at least a month to gather up info on. If I tried to reply to you now, I'd be completely unprepared and it won't be fair to either of us.

Dawner - Yes, I've heard that joke many times. ;)
Still a funny one though.

Lime - we asked to have my son tested for the same because he was clearly ahead of his peers and bored out of his skull. third grade and he had taught himself division and all his square roots facts, drew accurate maps of the usa with all the capitals located and labelled (freehand), creative writing in his freetime complete with his own illustrations.

This is exactly the sort of kid who would be left behind, while we focus on educating the lowest common denominator. Your son is the guy who will be inventing things and creating future jobs. Instead, he's probably bored out of his mind. Or at least that's how he would be at a border school where all the cool classes have been cut so we can teach illegals English.

all we are doing is bredding mediocrity and it infuriates me.

If you ever want to see America fall behind other advanced nations, this is how you'd do it.

Bsoholic - You'll notice it when you start shopping for schools, unfortunately.

Dusty - As someone who lived in both North and Southern California, I've had too many experiences with gangs. My skin color has gotten me in trouble with both gangs and law enforcement, because anyone who looks like me obviously is in a gang, right? Or so that's how both sides thought.

I too have dealt with school boards, holier than thou principles, superintendents who were working on padding their resumes instead of helping kids get taught, etc. When you see the budgets first hand, you'll notice high end courses (advanced math and science, gifted classes) as well as classes that could teach proficiencies (like shop classes) get cut in favor of ESL. This really bothers me.

Am I blaming the illegals? I thought I've already discussed this with you, Dusty. I said many times that if I had been in their shoes, I'd probably have done the same thing.

What we have here is corporate greed. The corporations love illegals because they don't have to pay them health care, decent wages, and have safety standards like they have to do with Americans. They artificially keep the wages low.

The average illegal is sneaking into a country that has jobs. This hurts both us and the illegal's country. The illegal is the same guy who should be protesting in the streets of his own country and kicking serious *ss instead of running from the problem.

That's exactly what The Man in the illegal's former country wants. They want their angry to go elsewhere. They don't want to have to reform, because that might mean a cut in their lifestyle.

I am blaming illegal immigration, not the illegal immigrant. I hope you understand that. Many illegals I've known are good people.

Back to gangs, some of the gang bangers I've talked to joined out of safety concerns. They don't know anybody and other low end people treat them like crap, and it gets violent.

If we cut down illegal immigration, we can assimulate people. If we don't, we can't. There aren't enough decent paying jobs for everyone who wants to come to America. You're a very smart woman, and I'm sure you understand this.

I really believe what Edward Abbey said. The best thing we can do with illegals is hand them a rifle and tell them to finish the revolution. Fix their country. Anything less is a disservice to both of us.

Tshsmom - Here schools started their decline when they decided to mainstream EVERYBODY. They quit dividing the kids into low, medium and high classrooms.

Yes, you are completely right about this. I remember when I was a kid we had early birds and late birds. Everyone knew the late birds were smarter, no big deal. Some of my best friends were early birds, especially on the football field.

Nobody is equal. There are smarter people than me, there are dumber people from me. I could care less, as long as they're cool.

But with political correctness, we're afraid to hurt people's feelings and because of that, we try to make everyone average. Let people excel at what they're good at. Let smart kids excel at things that require intelligence. Let practical people excel at making cool stuff. Let strong people excel at building our homes. School nowadays is so concerned with people's feelings that nobody will excel at anything and we'll all be mediocre.

Bhakti - You're always welcome to disagree with me anytime. I'd hate to see a world where everyone agreed with me. it would be boring. ;)

Maybe it is an East Coast vs West Coast thing. Or maybe my experiences in Southern California had tainted me. I'm very curious to see how everyone else responds from different parts of the country.

McKay - That really sucks. Legal immigrants and illegal immigrants are night and day. Legal immigration lets the U.S. decide who to keep. We get the best of the best. That's a good thing.

Illegal immigration doesn't allow us to do that. We get other nation's trash.

With legal immigration, immigrants are forced to learn American civics and American customs. It's a part of becoming an American. Illegals don't learn civics, their children rarely vote, and all they manage to do is undercut the American working class and keep our safety standards for American workers lower than they should be.

Neal - My son would stand up and stare at the blackboard then write down the answers without doing the formulas

That's very impressive.

Too bad about his GATE program. yes, it's been dumbed down. It used to take an upper 2% I.Q. but now it's like two or three times that so they could have more kids. So the upper kids once again are bored out of their mind. Nice, huh?

That being said, face it, there are some jobs that the average white guy just won't take like farm labor.

This is mostly due to the destruction of the American family farm. Corporate farming has destroyed the family farm, but that's another long post.

Totally agreed with sending illegals back. Legal immigration works, and like I've said, we get the best of the best with legal immigration. Not the same with illegal immigration.

Yeah, Chico has a strong Hmong community. With the Hmong people, you have the friendly, progressive folks who want to just work hard, get ahead, and get themselves a slice of the pie. Then you have the gang bangers, and unfortunately, I've encountered both. With tighter controls on immigration, we can deport the bad ones, keep the good ones.

1/16/2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Dusty - I tried responding to your original reply but blogger was being dumb. Please see what I said above.

And yes, I'm no fan of Bush's "No Child Left Behind." It's a huge waste of time. We don't need more tests. We need less testing and more learning.

1/16/2006 7:39 PM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

Hey Lime--I apologize for using the 'he' pronoun when referring to you. **blushing**

I'm SO glad to hear that your son has a much better teacher this year. :)

ZS--It's so great to be back (sort of back...)!

1/16/2006 8:33 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

I understand where you're coming from, although I disagree on a few points. First of all, I do get discouraged at how much of our resources are tied up with ELL programs. I've had students be "gone" the next day because their parents were stopped for a traffic violation or something of the sort, then they get sent back home. I don't think that the lack of funding for school programs is solely due to the resources we're putting into ELL programs though. Put simply, people don't want to pay higher taxes for school programs - it's usually the mentality that "I don't have children, so how is it benefitting me?" attitude. Secondly, of the ELL students I've worked with (legal immigrants AND illegal aliens), most of them actually do care about school. True, sometimes at home, you may not see the follow through from parents, but most of the parents I know who are not from the US work incredibly long hours. I've never gotten the sense that they don't value education or are not thankful for what I've provided to their child. I agree that the system is broken - I live it and see it every day and it's disheartening. However, I think it's a bit shortsighted to pin it on one cause. Just my two cents...

1/18/2006 5:15 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Bhakti - Well, I hope yoga will help prevent any further injuries and help the healing process. As I've said before, it's done wonders for my wife.

Notta - That's cool. Yes, you have first hand knowledge of it, for I know your situation and what you do for a living.

It is a major problem though. Sure nobody wants their taxes raised, but illegal immigration is directly costing education through more needs for ESL, and indirectly costing education by putting working class families and family farmers out of work. Those good people pay taxes, and when they can't pay taxes and end up on the dole, or worse, as meth addicts, education is the hardest hit.

1/18/2006 6:24 PM  

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