We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, August 25. 2014
In three years, any ordinary, motivated kid can get through the HS basics: Essay-writing, grammar, basics of research papers, math up to or through Calc 1, American History, World History, Bio, Literature-reading, Chem, Physics, Civics, and whatever.
Why not just complete HS requirements as quick as you can, and then leave?
I still do not understand the mission of Middle School.
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It was possible to receive a high school diploma early in Texas in the mid-70s though there may have been some law passed since then to prevent it. It wasn't an official program and was frowned upon.
It's all about the Benjamins. I was in high school in the '70s, though not in Texas. Senior year, I'd show up by 11, have lunch, go to my only class needed for graduation, English (taught by the local community college). Except on test days, when I took the required tests. I had a B average and they got their state money as long as I was checked in by 11:20. It was a DADT arrangement.
On the other hand, a friend went the formal route. Dad went to the school board so he could leave early for work. Lots of problems but it came down to money. Well, until his dad pulled out the check book then they went all "education" on him.
Of course, this was after they'd removed anything interesting from the school like shop class. My freshman year, they moved all that 10 miles up the highway to the "vocational" school. You had to devote a half day to the vocational school and surprise, that conflicted with the upper (college-prep) version of classes.
I'm just passing a long the recommendation of blog which I think the Maggie's Farmers will like:
Junior high school, or middle school as you call it, serves as safe refuge for students during puberty. It celebrates the last days of childhood innocence before kids graduate into the reality of young adulthood in high school. While I have few memories of junior high school, the one I treasure most is of hand building a wooden model sail boat in shop class---including sewing the cloth sails and pouring the lead keel. I proudly still have that boat.
And that, like a good meal (that includes all the food groups) contains all the food groups for a good education.
The Middle School wars are some of the most vicious known to man. Or rather girls.
Boys fare a bit better but not the ones who deviate from the state plan of athletics who learn about bullying.
Spot on! Junior High is a holding pen. Hormones rule, and the most you can hope for is to learn the beginnings of a trade.
At least that's how it was in Mass. in the late '40s.
That was possible in Mississippi in the mid 70's until they required 4 units of English to graduate and you could no longer take English in Summer School unless you had failed. For some reason, school authorities would rather a student drop out than graduate early. After attending 6th and 7th grades in Virginia, I realized that I was learning absolutely nothing in Junior High and High School. I don't think I exposed to anything new until I quit in the 11th grade and started my freshman year of college. Education is more about providing jobs for "educators" than teaching students.
Somtime in the early 60's the purpose of K-12 school became to babysit the kids so both parents could work and to provide jobs for union teachers. Somtime in the late 70's and 80's colleges got onto a similar track with the added goal of profit.
My child who just finished 8th grade a year early (he skipped the 4th grade) probably could've completed the middle school curriculum in 1 year. He thought most of his 'electives' were a waste of time, despised P.E., laughed through the 'computers' course (where he probably knew a lot more than the teacher), and groaned through health class.
I still don't understand why they teach 'social studies' instead of history by 7th grade. And, honestly, his 8th grade social studies class was mostly history.
He couldn't stand his last year of middle school from a learning perspective. He cannot wait to get to high school next year. Unfortunately, I think he will find some disappointments there as well.
Some kids need more time to mature, so I think high school through 18 is a good idea. But they shouldn't hold kids back who are capable of graduating and want to graduate in 3 years. Less fluff (electives) and more actual courses would behoove these kids. You should see my kids trying desperately to find electives that interest them. Sometimes they feel like they are scraping the barrel...having to choose between two crappy choices. Why can't they just opt out and spend more time on math/science???
You don't "mature" in school. It's life that matures you.
I have an elderly friend who was in the Battle of the Bulge at 16. He matured.
One matures, biologically, in high school and keeping age 18 as the finish line doesn't hurt. Not every 16 yr old has a "Battle of the Bulge" class available for a credit.
Thank you BD. My Dad being part of Patton' 3rd rather matured him also during this shindig.
I know kids who are not emotionally mature for whatever reason and typically make more mistakes than your average kid. I am guessing if these kids were at the Battle of the Bulge, they were the ones that didn't make it back.
I see a few kids at our high school able to handle higher level courses, lots of homework, plus do sports and volunteer, but those are a rare breed and have to have a bit of that mega-focus naturally. You cannot force a kid to care. They have to grow into that...and these are kids with even the most well meaning of parents. I suppose if I booted my kid out at 16 and made him get a job and live on his own, yeah, he would figure it out. But I'd rather have him struggle through his teen years with the support of his parents than perhaps fail miserably at life out in the real world.
The whole point of parenting teens is to make sure they have the skills necessary and the education needed to take care of themselves.
Middle school is a holding pen for kids to decide whether they want to go to college or prison.
Pretty close to correct... third choice though, military. Saved my ass.
In California a kid age 15+ who passes a "high school equivalency exam" is relieved of the requirement to stay in school. But they need parental permission to take the test.
I've always figured the main reason for middle AND high school, at least for those not college-bound, is to keep the kids off the streets so they won't have time to steal, vandalize, or engage in other harmful mischief. It's sad that such a mechanism is necessary, but the "idle hands" slogan shows it's a very old problem.
The main reason for post-elementary schooling was to remove kids from the workforce. They were keeping the union wages down.
But after that implementation, it became day-prison. Without work or hope of work, something had to be done with the kids during the day. Can't have them roaming about the streets bored.
In my school years you could skip a grade with permission given right at the school. Your new classmates were older. But that seldom mattered.
I suppose the system is tighter now and an entire administrative apparatus would crash and burn before allowing such a casual procedure.
Urban schooling is now a control mechanism. Society simply doesn't know what else to do with adolescents. The kids can't work, the jobs aren't there and the labor laws wouldn't allow it anyway. And you sure don't want them idle and unsupervised. So the state divides the burden of supervision with the parents and everyone hopes for the best.
"Education is more about providing jobs for 'educators' than teaching students."
Absolutely true. My wife was a Middle School Principal for twenty years in a Government School [in the Peoples' Socialist Soviet of California].
What a complete waste of time, for both teachers and students.
Government 'education' is so broken that it can not be fixed. Eliminating the entire worthless structure is the only answer.
In my high school in the early 70s, it was possible to take extra classes, including summer school, and graduate at least a semester early. Several of my friends disappeared early that way.
The school was so crowded (800+ in my graduating class) that they switched to a staggered schedule. Classes were available from 8-2:30 or from 9:30-4, or you could go 8-4 if you wanted to speed things up.
I wanted to take the high school equivalency exam my junior year so I wouldn't have to take my senior year of school. My mother shot down that idea very quickly.