Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fucked over by our public school system

Read this article in the New York Post:

New York's School Testing Con

Did you realize that NYS high school students pass the math regents with a 65 by correctly answering 34.5% of the questions?  And that the questions have gotten easier over the past few years?

Hey, guess what?  As chair of a community college math/science department this is not surprising in the least.  We have increasing numbers of recently-graduated high school students entering college and placing directly into remedial classes.  Little Johnny has a NYS diploma and can't calculate a 15% tip, can't properly use a ruler to measure distances on a map (seriously, I have students every semester who can't comprehend that inches on a ruler are divided into 16ths), are unable to multiply a number by 10 without use of a calculator, and are placed into the equivalent of a middle-school-level math course.  They also can't write a coherent paragraph (hence the many sections of remedial English classes chock full of high school graduates completely unprepared to take a Freshman English course).

You, as a taxpayer, pay twice.  Outrageously high school taxes (most school districts around here spend over $20K/year/student to educate your little darlings) AND tax dollars going toward State and Federal financial aid for them to take remedial courses in college (requiring 3 years or more to get a 2 year degree).

What puzzles me is why people stand for this.  Personally, I homeschool my kids so it's hard for me to care too much about our public schools.  Also, community colleges benefit from poorly-educated high school students.

Problem is, however, I really do care and despair for the future of our country.


  1. After following your blog for I while now I feel compelled to comment. My daughter is about to graduate from UCCC at 17, having left high school after her freshman year (after attending a Waldorf school up 'till 8th grade, she was bored to tears once she got to public high school - we "homeschooled" her in order to get around compulsory school attendance). The irony: UCCC has no difficulty giving her a COLLEGE DEGREE this May, but the NYS Ed Dept refuses to give her a High School Equivalency (GED) diploma until July, even tho' she passed the GED test. So even bright kids are getting f***ed by the NYS school system (in this case I guess you'd call it Social Demotion) she has to wait until she's "age eligible" in order to graduate - who cares if she's bright, motivated, and eager to learn more?

  2. I have a BS degree in Environmental Biology and was close to my Master's but have no NYS High School diploma. Why? I left HS after 11th grade and went to college (Simon's Rock). I was a full fledge college freshman. I completed my 1st year with great grades. BUT NYS would not let my High School give me a diploma b/c I did not take specific classes that had no equivalent at Simon's Rock. The HS put me down as a transfer, LOL, to avoid needing to report what I really was... A High School Dropout :) I could have waited to try to get a GED but for most things I have found it to be to my benefit...a conversation starter :)

  3. I have a similar story too Woldkill. I'll post about it sometime.