[LMB] Steve's Trolling ot:

Pouncer at aol.com Pouncer at aol.com
Fri, 16 May 2003 16:41:21 EDT


Steve:

> >One of the basic problems with higher education in the US is that too many 
> >people get it.  

Well, the other, MORE basic problem with ELEMENTARY education
is that too many children, don't get it.  I mean, some researchers 
find that in some districts, up to a third of the 10 year olds, having 
een in the system for four solid years K-3rd grade, can't yet read in 
any meaningful way. And by that age, they ain't liable to larn how,
nohow.  Here in Texas we test all our 3rd graders so's we can tell
how many of 'em are gonna drop out  after repeatin' 10th grade,
so as to forecast how big the High School (and the football stadia)
are gonna have to be in time to get a whoppin' bond issue passed.
There are advocates of trying to help pre-schoolers as young as
three or four years old begin reading, testing at half-past-first-grade,
and bending over backwards thru flaming hoops, if necessary, to
ensure all kids start 2nd grade able to read.  These people are
generally regarded as hopeless fanactics, idealists, and/or radical
dangerous right-wing homeschoolers.

Jefferson proposed that every U.S. child get free public education
up to third grade, after which the taxpayer would support the top
ranked students in each grade (say, about 1 in 25 at each successive
level) and all others would have to pay their own way.
> 
> >A large percentage of the population is simply too stupid to benefit by 
> >post-secondary ed., and having them around makes teaching those who can 
> >really benefit harder; it's like sticking damper rods into a nuclear 
> >reaction.
> 

In a trollish mood today, Steve? 

But playing along, how is it different in post-secondary classrooms
than in first grade, where, for instance, my six year old who
could  already read, add, substract, name colors, tell time, 
make change, carry a tune  and identify polygons was to be perforce seated in 
a classroom of 22 "average" six year olds 
most of whom would be approaching most of those 
skills for the very first time?   NOT, mind you, that any of
them were stupid.  Just that some kids don't get quite as
much support at home in book-larnin' as mine tend to.
Morons in the classroom:: boron in the heavy water --
I dunno as I'd restrict that diagnosis to the already once
diploma'd.  It's hard to make random elements fizz.

Anyhow, assume for the nonce that half the kids now entering
U.S. public first grade classrooms drop out before completing
secondary (12th grade, High School)  programs in such
subjects as civics, fundamentals of biology or chemistry, 
world history, or maybe a non-English language.  Assume,
further, that this could be instantly "fixed" via early intervention 
so that, say, only one-eighth of the next bunch of  first graders
did finish a meaningful secondary education program.  

What would it do the lettuce-picking industry; much less the
post-secondary education market?