Wednesday, May 31, 2006

 

Proper Armor

This poll focused on the difference in opinions of Black, Hispanic, and White students. I found some interesting points below.

About eight in 10 said it is good for school districts to require higher standards, even if that means kids must go to summer school.

The black and Hispanic children — under pressure to close their test-score gaps with whites — also see more pervasive academic woes, such as lower standards, higher dropout rates and kids who advance even if they don't learn.

In perspective, most students said schools were meeting expectations on most measures.

Emphasis mine.

Meanwhile the NY Times (via Drudge) reports on the coming hurricane season.

Convinced that tough tactics are needed, officials in hurricane-prone states are trumpeting dire warnings about the storm season that starts on Thursday, preaching self-reliance and prodding the public to prepare early and well.

"The big shortfall is complacency with the community," said Randall Webster, director of Horry County (South Carolina) Emergency Management. "Our main theme is, take interest as an individual and make preparations."

Emphasis mine.

It was not long ago that Bush and Rumsfeld and co. were criticized for sending our troops into battle without the proper armor. I'll leave that argument out of this post but point to the similarities in preparing our troops and educating our children. Just as you can't send the soldier off to the battle field unprepared you cannot advance the student to the next level without the proper education. Especially if the next level is the real world.

I like the government approach of emphasizing individual responsibility in disaster preparation. Education and common sense are an important part of survival in any situation. But from personal experience I find that the same people who were quick to criticize Bush and co. for supposedly sending the troops out unprepared are the same one's who argue for things like the advancement of students who haven't made the grade. Advancement is often argued based on the student's feelings rather than achievement. Such arguments do nothing to prepare the individual for the real world and when applied to the masses can make a disaster out of an otherwise manageable situation.

The curriculum of indoctrination does not help either.

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