Monday, May 08, 2006

As Little Education As Possible For The Money

Instapundit had an interesting quote in this post, and summed it all up with

Education, as they say, is the only consumer product where the consumer is out to get as little as possible for the money.

I'm fortunate to teach where I do, where so many students push themselves (sometimes to an excessive degree in my opinion, but that's not my decision to make) so hard to do so well. Just as one example, I have a student who will take 5 AP courses next year, will participate in sports both semesters, will continue his progress through the ranks of the Sea Cadets, and will also join the Boy Scouts and the Civil Air Patrol.

He's a sophomore, and hopes to attend the Naval Academy.

I've had dozens of students miss class the past several days due to AP exams. I hope that they view college as a means and not an end--and that Instapundit's comment doesn't apply to them.


W.R. Chandler said...

I wish I could transfer a little of your students' overzealousness to my site. I have one class where about 2/3 of my students are failing. I don't know how they expect to pass on to high school from middle school. What do all these kids do with their lives?

Anonymous said...

They'll pass on from middle school to high school because they'll be allowed to make up a year's worth of classwork in 5 weeks. Some won't even have to take classes in the subject area(s) they failed. And if they don't pass summer school many of them will be passed on anyway because middle schools don't want 15 year olds on their campuses or because their parents will pitch a fit.

Darren said...

I've often marveled at how we set the bar so low in junior high, and then raise it immensely in high school (because the state sets the graduation requirements). It sets lower-performing kids up for failure.

Ellen K said...

I have seen that happen time and again. We tried to have an Honors Art I course for kids who had been through three years of art in middle school. Luckily it didn't make as a class because of the kids that I had that signed up for the class, all except three failed. It seems that their teacher let the talented kids do anything they wanted and then graded them at the end of the term. When faced with deadlines and rubriks,these kids couldn't cut it. Now you may say, that's just art, but if carried over into other areas, it's a serious problem. Every class needs to be aligned vertically and when the elementary and middle school teachers aren't doing that, then we have to play mop-up at the end. I have seen this same scenario happen with accellerated math and foreign language.