Re: The Education Function

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 07 Dec 1998 18:28:29 -0500

Ralph Lewis wrote:

> Mike, try working in education.

Now why would you wish that fate on me?

> You will quickly learn that a lot of the
> money gets spent on "show" projects or dumped down the tube to support
> special populations, athletics, etc. There is also a quest for numbers of
> students over quality. This results in de facto open admission standards. At
> the same time faculty are rated on faculty evaluations which turn the
> classroom into a popularity contest. The result is not education but
> edutainment.

Oh of course. It used to be even here in public schools that the dregs were subtly encouraged to drop out when they ceased to find any use in school. Now every kid HAS to graduate or mummy and daddy want to sue the school for breach of contract or negligence or what have you. Evaluation of faculty evaluation stats is a tricky game. If the kids don't study much, get low grades, and hate the teacher, then the teacher is doing his or her job, unless those kids don't have a history of the same behavior. when the kids study a lot, but still get bad grades and hate the teacher indicates that the teacher is lacking somewhere.

> If we want to improve college education and REDUCE costs use the SAT score
> as a criterion for admission. Stop the special admits and track them to the
> community colleges where they can actually receive appropriate remedial
> education to be able to succeed in college. Na, that's too easy.

I had excellent SAT scores (640 v, 720 m), but only a B average. My study skills were pathetic, which was a major impediment in college. Many teachers will focus their classes toward preparing for the SAT.

One major problem is that too many kids get straight A averages taking gut courses like basket weaving, simple math, science and social science courses, and lots of art and phys ed classes. I got a C- in calculus the first time I took it ( it was a 7 am class with a teacher who talked like Ben Stein, and I've got narcoleptic tendencies....) and my GPA was screwed, but kids who were still taking Algebra or Trig their senior year and got A+'s sat ahead of me at graduation....

Mike Lorrey