Wednesday, June 22, 2005

US Schools dumbed down - No, not reely....

UPDATE: For more info on this see Rivrdog's post here.

I see in our local newspaper that this year's graduating class at the local high school has six valedictorians. The total graduating class is less than one hundred and fifty. These valedictorians all had a perfect 4.0 grade point average for all four years of high school.

When I attended the same school back in the early sixties, it was very unusual for a student to get a 4.0 for a single quarter, let alone for all four years of classes. Something, obviously, has changed.

Are the students somehow miraculously smarter now, with higher IQ's? I doubt it.

Are the teachers and their methods much improved? I doubt that, too. I graduated from a college that cranked out lots of teachers, and I knew a lot of those folks that were in teacher ed. It was the case then that if you were on the edge of flunking out, and you weren't a jock, then you transferred over to the teacher ed. , and your grades miraculously improved. Some of those who graduated could barely read and write, really! The school superintendents and principals now running our schools are from those college graduating classes.

Maybe, just maybe, it's a lot easier to get good grades compared to how it had been in the past. I remember reading a statement by a fairly high federal government administrator that they had set a goal that by year 2000 ALL graduating high school seniors in the United States would have at least an 8th. grade education.

I've paid in a lot of money in taxes to educate our kids. I want my money back......


At Wednesday, June 22, 2005 6:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're entitled to our money back. Most of those Four-points were achieved by adding in "extra-credit" things, some of which are probably the usual liberal feel-good items, like being the student who "advanced to their potential" the most.

About a month ago, I noted in our fine fishwrapper that the valedictorian at one high school in these parts was sporting a 4.6 GPA.

Must have made an average of 106 percent on her tests, hmmmm?

On a more personal note, my youngest daughter, a real brain, got a 3.8 out of high school, but she got a 4.0 in Spanish. She can't even ask where the toilet is in that language, and can't order a meal in Spanish in a restaurant.

The grades are inflated to inflate the kids' "self-esteem", which, according to the educrats, is more important than the actual knowledge acquired or the ability to think.

The problem with grade-inflation is that now the colleges have no way to tell (other than by the College Board exams, which are also dumbed down) who will be likely to succeed and who won't, so they have to keep raising the GPA for admission. The U of Oregon now has a 3.5 required to get in! So, if you're the Average White Boy who buckles down, studies hard and gets B's and A's, you won't get any of the feel-good bonuses, and you probably won't get into the U of OR (unless you can play a major sport, and then they waive every admissions requirement there is).

But some actual C and a few B's student do get in because of inflation, and then they learn about real life real fast.


At Wednesday, June 22, 2005 8:12:00 PM, Blogger Grampapinhead said...

I graduated HS in 1961, and your talk of schoolmates reminded me:
Of all the classmates who had not a clue as to their future, a couple became preachers and the rest became teachers.

I read a quote on somebody's blog yesterday (senior moment).
"Fifty years ago we were teaching greek and latin in high school and now we are teaching 'remedial english' in College.

At Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:05:00 AM, Blogger GunGeek said...

Most schools nowadays use several grading scales, based on the level of the class. For instance, getting a 90% in a regular class will get you a 3.0, while the same percentage in an honors class might be a 3.3 or a 3.6 for an advanced placement class.

That's how you get four year 4.0's and 4.6 GPA ratings.

At Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:21:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

Maybe we should just give EVERYONE a ten for enrolling, just to make it equal for all. Better yet, do away with the number system entirely, and give everyone a "Truly Exceptionally Outstanding" for a grade......


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