As reported by the L.A. Times, experts predict that when "Social Promotions" end in June of 2000, and the children of L.A. Unified School District in elementary and middle school levels will be promoted only after passing a Stanford 9 test for their grade level .... That 60% (SIXTY PERCENT!!) will FAIL, and have to repeat that grade level.
When I was in public school (1961-1974).... We were expected to learn. We were expected to excel. Back when I was in public school, the California school system was a bright, shiny example to the rest of the country as to what THE model school system should be like. And it WAS.
Nowdays ... not only is the California school system woefully lagging behind the rest of the country (not to mention the "dumbing down" of schools all over the USA) but the Los Angeles Unified School District has become an absolute laughing stock.
When I was in public school (and especially high school) we had to take real courses. Not this crap fluff that is passed off as "education" nowdays. When I was in school, we had to take real English classes. Things like English Composition, and English Literature.... Of course we already KNEW the basics. Now, we have (and this is even less than what we used to call "Bonehead English") classes that teach the basics of English .... what WE learned back by the 6th grade ... and the kids now feel pretty damn proud about themselves if they can read a TV Guide. They feel pretty damn good, if they can scratch out their own names, and are considered to be a genius if they can put together a simple and coherent sentence.
When I was in school, we took real science classes. We took real biology classes and real chemistry classes. Nowdays, I would imagine the only "science" that's involved with young minds is what baking soda worked best when cooking up a batch of crack, or the best methods of growing dope in a closet. Of course, now kids have "Computer Science".... does this mean knowing anything about the "hows" and "whys" of computers? Does this mean learning programming? Does this involve learning any electronic theory? Of course not!
It means learning how to plug in a "WebTV" so they can get on the net. It means learning how to use Microsoft Word, so any kind of dribble that is typed on the computer screen, will magically be transformed into something that can be understood, with all the misspelled words corrected. It means learning how to load the latest version of "Quake", and making it work over a modem, so "Johnny" and his buddy can spend countless hours killing each other.
When I was in school, we had to take real math classes. We had to take Algebra ... Geometry .... Trig ... not necessarily stuff the average person needs to get by in real life, but useful nonetheless. Even if for nothing more than to teach structured and logical thinking. Nowdays they have classes to teach you how to balance your checkbook! Simple addition and subtraction! Stuff I learned in the 2nd grade! Classes on how to use a freekin' calculator! I guess it doesn't matter now if you know how to get an answer, just as long as you can get the answer.
When I was in school, we took real history and geography classes. Nowdays, history classes are things like "The Fabulous 50's", where students learn about Elvis and Edsels. Geography? A JOKE! Kids nowdays couldn't point out, say .... Canada, on a map if you grabbed their finger and planted it on the freekin' map for them.
When I was in school, I think about the biggest problem or worries we had were finding out where the parties for that Friday and Saturday night were. About having enough money for a weekend date. Getting your car fixed. Making enough time for school, a part-time job, and girls. We respected our teachers (for the most part ... as in "real" life there are complete asshole idiot teachers as well ...). When a football coach told you to get your hair cut ... you got it cut. When a teacher rapped her ruler on the desk and commanded everyone to shutup ... we shutup. Getting caught ditching class or smoking in the bathroom brought serious consequences. If ... there were any fights between students, it was fists and nothing else.
Nowdays teachers and students are fearful for their LIVES. Teachers cannot instill ANY kind of discipline ... they might get stabbed. Students openly mock and challenge a teachers authority. It's getting to the point where kids are fearful of even walking home, and have to look over their shoulders when they hear a car approach from behind ... ready to dive for cover, because there is a real possibility that they may take a bullet between the eyes in a drive-by. Most students don't get lockers anymore, because they are used as hiding places for drugs and weapons. There aren't enough books (in ENGLISH, anyway) to go around. After-school activities have been severely cut back to the point of almost being nonexistent. Many high schools actually have DAY CARE CENTERS to take care of the children of THE STUDENTS while they are in school!!
So what do we have nowdays? A bunch of kids who are "graduating" (and I use that word VERY loosely) who are complete blithering idiots, prepared for nothing in life, and not even prepared for a lowly community college without having to take several semesters of knothead classes to try to bring them up to the substandard "par". We have kids who idolize retards like Dennis Rodman, and act, dress, and speak like gangbangers ... even the ones who aren't. Ever listen to an average LAUSD student lately? They sound like drooling morons, who have to muster up every single deflated brain-cell they have to spit out some incoherent sentence. We are getting a generation of kids, who will not even be qualified to say, "You want fries with that burger?" We have kids who are parents before they even graduate.
We have kids who can't even THINK.
I'm GLAD I'll be dead by the time these kids are in control, because it's not going to be a world that I will want to live in.
So is it just LAUSD? I'm sure there are other school systems that are failing our kids just as bad, but LAUSD is what I grew up with and know 1st hand about the pedestal it once occupied, and also it's slide into the murky sediment at the bottom of the scholastic cesspool. What are the causes one might ask? Well there are a few to be sure, but some of the "biggies" I think are just straw-grasping excuses by whiners.
The first is that "LAUSD is too BIG!!" ... yeah, bullshit. I'll tell you what, Los Angeles hasn't become THAT much bigger (land-wise) since I was in school, and has even lost a chunk here and there. Population-wise, yes it's exploded, and the cry is up that classroom sizes are too big, and there are not enough schools. Well, they've passed laws requiring size-limits to classrooms and are building new schools. Just let me say that all through my school years, with the exception of one or two unpopular classes that nobody wanted to take, that I can't remember the classroom size being any less than 35-40 kids ... yet for some reason, we still learned. Imagine that!
The LAUSD is building more schools, but get this ... it's been discovered that several new schools, due in part to the LAUSD getting a "good deal" on the land .... have been built on toxic-land sites! (Hey! We got a GREAT deal on that empty lot where the chrome-plating factory used to be! Let's build a school there!) Is this a reason why kids aren't learning? No, but it's an example of how brain-dead the LAUSD is ...
Another reason cited was, "We have year-round school now, (something else I hate...) and the classrooms are just too hot!" Well, freekin' DUUUUUH!!!! You think they would have thought of that BEFORE going to a year-round system ... but the taxpayers of Los Angeles were asked to cough up millions of $$$ to install air conditioning in hundreds of classrooms. And they are. But when I was in school, it was hot in June, just before summer vacation, and it was hot in September, when the new school year started.... and yet somehow, we still managed to learn.
For YEARS the LAUSD (and I guess all other schools in California) have been screaming that there isn't enough money. Ever since Prop 13 passed in the early 70's, this has been the battle cry. Or should I say whine. True ... Prop 13 did have a definite impact on school budgets, but in case you don't remember, or weren't here, people were being taxed to death to the point of losing their homes, because they simply couldn't afford the property taxes anymore ... and something had to be done. So, the school systems suffered for some years, and then along came the mid-80's and the big push for the California State Lotto. The BIG argument for the lotto, was that it was going to be the saving grace for the schools ... that billions of dollars would be poured back into the school systems and that peace and harmony would once again smile upon our battered school systems.
Yeah, so, what the fuck happened? Nothing improved ... things got worse. What was ALL this newfound money doing? Where the hell was it ALL going? We were led to believe that the school systems would be pumping out rocket scientists faster than Carter makes little pills. So it must be true what they say about the lotto .... that it's just a tax for people who are bad at math ....
It should also be noted here .... that just about this time "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS" started to rear its ugly head ....
So along comes the 90's and the recession hits ... state, county, and local governments, agencies, and various programs are on the verge of going broke. People take hits, like losing their jobs, or taking paycuts (as did teachers). Now anyone who ever became a teacher knew going in that they were never going to get rich by being a teacher. They used to do it, and still do for the most part, because they loved teaching. Now that times are good, and there are billions of dollars left over in the state budget a huge question has arisen.... do we buy much-needed things like books, or do we give teachers a HUGE raise that they are demanding? (HEY!!! HELLO!!! Remember ME that taxpayer whose money that belongs to? How about giving the surplus BACK to the TAXPAYER!!?? Oh .... can't do THAT I guess ...) Well, I look at it like this ... if at MY work, I were doing a piss-poor job, I'd be embarrassed to DEMAND a raise. I should think that a raise comes with merit, and if the kids are coming out of school dumb as a freekin' doorknob, then teachers pay ought to reflect that.
So ... if these things are not what's wrong with LAUSD, then what is?? Here's what's wrong ... First of all, I don't buy this crap, that there is not enough money to run the school, and teach the children. California is right near the top of money spent per student in the USA, yet the results are near the bottom. The money that is available is being grossly mismanaged. You have school administrators who besides being grossly overpaid for what little they do, DON'T know what the hell they are doing to begin with. This is a perfect example of too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
Since about the mid-80's there has been a flood of students who whether they are here legally or not, do not speak a word of English. This is not to mention just the "flood" period! The schools have became so overloaded with students of all sorts, many of whom shouldn't even BE in this country, yet we have to pay for their education anyway (THAT'S a whole `nother topic!) that the schools simply went into, and continue to go, into meltdown mode. So the ones who are here that speak no English, what do we do? We coddle them, and try to break them slowly with this bilingual bullshit (and thank God THAT finally looks like it is on its way out ... maybe) while dragging the others down, and behind.
When my two boys became of school age, even knowing what a mess our public schools are in, I thought I'd be fair about it. I thought I'd give the public schools a chance. So, my wife and I strolled on over to the nearest elementary school, and sat in the kindergarten class for about 1/2 hour. And what did we see? About 3/4 of the class was separated from the rest, while being taught in Spanish! And the rest of the kids? They were sitting there twiddling their thumbs with NOTHING to do! We decided to check out a 1st grade class. Guess what? SAME THING!!
Not only that ... but there were kids in the 1st grade with shaved heads and baggy pants! I couldn't believe my eyes! I couldn't believe that the IDIOT parents, and the IDIOT schools would allow that! Well ... "public school" got crossed off my list REAL quick.
I blame the teachers unions and the NEA with their bleeding-heart liberal agendas, who seem to think it's more important that little Johnny "feels good" about himself than whether or not he actually knows anything.
I blame this "Social Promotion" crap that promotes kids into the next grade, regardless of how many subjects they FAILED that year, because again ... we don't want to bruise their little egos ... even if they DO happen to be dumb as a rock.
I blame this "Whole Language" method of teaching to read (which by the way has been a complete failure) rather than the good ol' fashioned way we learned (what they now call "Phonics").
I blame the idiot parents who for some reason nowdays never seem to back up the teacher whenever a problem arises. These parents' nowdays seem to have the attitude that their little darlings couldn't possibly be doing anything wrong! Why... their little snookum-wookums are just the perfect little angels and could NEVER be as bad as that big ol' mean teacher says they are!
Makes me wanna puke.
Although some of the elementary and middle schools (speaking of which, what the hell ever happened to "Jr. High"? They've all turned into "Middle School") now have dress codes (just like WE used to have!) or uniforms. Unfortunately, too many do not, and I blame again, the idiot parents who allow their kids to go to school dressed up like gangbangers.
I blame the whole damn system for allowing the "dumbing down" of our students. So ... the kids in this science class have been failing all the tests? Do we just keep pounding the subject into their heads until they learn and can pass the tests? Of COURSE NOT! We just make the class and the tests so freekin' easy, that ANY cretin could pass it! Yeah! That's the way to fix it!
I blame the system again, for the poisoning and brainwashing of young people's minds with their liberal propaganda bullshit. What do the kids learn nowdays? Do they learn about the greatness and sacrifices of our founding fathers? No, they are taught that the founding fathers were all a bunch of adulterous drunks having sex with their slaves. Are they taught about the western movement and what that meant to this country? No, they are taught how the EVIL WHITE MAN slashed a destructive path across the west killing every Indian in sight, and stealing half of Mexico while killing every Mexican in sight. Do they teach about great inventors like Thomas Edison, or great businessmen like Henry Ford? No, they teach that Edisonís inventions were all ideas STOLEN from some black guy somewhere, and that the automobile is the greatest single threat to mankind and the environment ever invented. Do they teach about all the service men who willingly gave up their lives in WWII so that the world could be free from the horrors brought upon it by the likes of Hitler and his ilk? No, they are taught how EVIL the USA was for dropping Atomic weapons on Japan.
Do they teach that 2+2=4? No ... if little Johnny comes up with 2+2=5, then that's OK ... because he tried really hard to get an answer, and we wouldn't want him to feel bad by telling him he's wrong. Do they teach that "Johnny" is spelled J-O-H-N-N-Y? No ... if little Johnny wants to spell it J-O-N-U-I-E, thats OK, because little Johnny is just "expressing" himself, and besides, who are WE to tell little Johnny that he's wrong!?
I was going to blame a lack of discipline in the schools, because of the liberal "We-have-to-understand-WHY-little-Tyrone-is-a-gangbanger-and-shot-3-people" agenda, but started to rethink this. When I was in school, and you messed up, much of the time you had a choice ... either a phone call was made to home and you had a conference with your parents and the principle ... or you took a couple of swats (most of us took the swats). Trust me that whatever it was that I did, and took a couple of swats for it, I NEVER did it again!! Anyway, I started to think that if you gave some gangscum or maybe even a "regular" kid a swat, you probably wouldn't live to see dinnertime. But regardless, there still is a huge lack of discipline in schools. Teachers are afraid for their lives. The students who have absolutely NO fear of them or any authorities for that matter mock them. What to do then? This is a tough one. But I'll tell you what, it sure wouldn't hurt to have some parents out there willing to open up a little can of "kick-ass" on their unruly little brats, or have the cops scare the living shit outta' the punks.
Basically, the things that I am blaming are not what people are crying about. If all the liberal "do-gooders" would pull their heads out of their ass long enough to see the REAL problems, we, and especially our kids, would be a whole hellava' lot better off!
For the sake of space, to see a WHOLE bunch of examples of how freekin' ass-backwards the LAUSD is doing things, see my "Miscellaneous Crap" page.
Some Facts and Figures
OK .... I've been ranting, and you might be saying to yourself "This guy is full of shit, and just spouting off!!" You want facts? I got your facts right here, buddy! Read em' and weep!
These are the results of the "Stanford 9" test recently given to LAUSD students. A score of "50" would be "average" as compared to the rest of the students nationwide. (Of course, with some exceptions I'm sure, even "average" today, isn't what "average" used to be nationwide, say 20-30 years ago ... not with the "dumbing down" of public schools across the land.) It should be noted that these are a combined average of grades 2 through 11. But ... even the scores for individual grades, NOT ONE GRADE in ANY CATEGORY did any scores even reach the "50" mark! In fact for the most part, the averages are WELL BELOW the national average!
I also find it interesting (and disturbing at the same time) that "English" is not called "English" anymore.... It's now called "Language". Now.... WHY do you suppose THAT is???
Grade 2-11 combined average
LAUSD 100 WORST SCHOOLS
LAUSD ON AVERAGE
CALIFORNIA KIDS CAN'T READ!!!!
By Julian Guthrie
San Francisco Examiner
SAN FRANCISCO - While California students are showing some improvement in reading scores, the state still ranks near the bottom on the nationwide report card, according to a study released Thursday.
Reading scores on the 1998 National Assessment of Educational Progress show that more than half of California's fourth-graders are failing to read at the most basic level.
While the average reading scores are up in the United States for the first time in a decade, scores in the nation's biggest state are anything but luminous. 52 percent of fourth-graders in California scored below basic in reading meaning they had a less-than -partial mastery of fundamental skills. 28 percent scored at a basic level, meaning they showed a partial mastery of reading skills. 16 percent were proficient or showing solid academic performance: and 4 percent were advanced.
Nationally, 39 percent of fourth graders were below basic', 31 percent were at a basic level: 23 percent were proficient and 6 percent were advanced.
Only students in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana and the Virgin Islands performed worse than those in California.
The scores for California arc slightly higher in 1998 than in 1994 and 1992, the most recent years the exam was given. But because nearly all states saw scores inch upward, California remains firmly planted near the bottom.
Eighth-graders in California did little better than fourth-graders: 22 percent scored at the proficient level, compared with 31 percent of eighth graders nationally.
The NAEP, taken every few years by a sampling of fourth, eighth and 12th-graders in 39 states, Guam and at U.S. military bases overseas, has been used as a national report card since it was first issued in 1969.
Nearly a quarter of participating states showed statistically significant improvements in fourth-grade reading this year. No states lost ground and four states - Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Virginia- reversed declines.
Twelve states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands had forth- and eighth-grade scores below the national average. Besides California, those states were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico and South Carolina.
Assault up at LAUSD sites
By David R. Baker - Daily News Staff Writer
While crime rates fell at most California public schools last year, incidents of battery and assaults with deadly weapons on LAUSD campuses rose, according to a state report released Wednesday.
Los Angeles school officials said they were puzzled by the jump in battery cases but said that perhaps increasingly crowded conditions at the district's schools are provoking friction among students.
"Any time you enhance the density of the population, there could be a greater likelihood of violence," said Assistant Superintendent Dan Isaacs.
The third annual California Safe Schools Assessment report showed most types of crime dropping at schools throughout the state, although there were exceptions. Elementary school districts saw increases in battery complaints. And while fewer guns were confiscated from students, authorities found more students with knives.
Does this shock and scare you? IT HAD DAMN WELL BETTER!!
Here are some more examples of the inmates running the asylum ...
Recently at James Monroe High School (MY old stompin' grounds) they suffered their 3rd "drive-by" shooting this year. So what was their solution to this horrible incident?? Joel Juntilla, a "Youth Relations Assistant" (Whatever the hell THAT is) for the LAUSD, went to some other area high schools and told the students (gangscum included) just "Don't go by Monroe" ....
WELL! I'm SURE THAT'S going to have a HUGE impact on the gangcreeps! What a complete and utter freekin' MORON this guy is! How far up their asses DO these jerks have their heads!? What complete idiocy!! "Just don't go by Monroe ... " .... Jeeeeez... THATS really taking the bull by the horns! What leadership! What a "take charge' way to address this problem!
In the meantime, innocent kids DIE.
With the recent tax "windfall" (in other words, OVERPAID taxes that the TAXPAYER will never get back!) there is a huge debate on what to do with this 60 MILLION dollars. LAUSD Superintendent Ruben "The Racist" Zacarias wants to appropriate only 3.2 million to textbooks and give the rest as raises to administration and teachers. As far as I'm concerned BOTH administration and teachers are paid well enough as it is, and probably don't deserve WHAT THEY GET NOW, for the PISS-POOR job they do! (By the way ... the average LAUSD teacher earns $44,000 for 10 months of work.... not too bad, eh??)
Clips from a recent N.Y. Times article...
November 24, 1998
Other Countries Catching Up to U.S. In Education, Study Finds
By ETHAN BRONNER
Major new international study shows that American high school graduation rates, for generations the highest in the world, have slipped below those of most industrialized countries.
For example, in 1990, the average number of years an American 5-year-old was expected to attend high school or college was the world's highest, 16.3. In 1996, the latest year for which data was available, the American score was 16.8, but 11 other countries, including Canada, Spain and Finland, had surpassed that number.
He added that the United States also has one of the highest university dropout rates in the industrialized world -- 37 percent.
Schleicher said other nations in his organization had placed enormous emphasis on improving access to education, bringing them in line with and surpassing American achievements.
The shifting balance is likely to cause concern in the United States, because the quality of American education has been the focus of growing attention and debate for 10 to 15 years.
"I think we should be quite alarmed by this," said Gerald Graff, professor of English and education at the University of Chicago, who is writing a book on what he considers the dangerous gap between the thinking classes in America and the rest of the society. "We've never fully committed ourselves to the democratic idea of education. There is a kind of silent bargain between schools and many of its students that says, 'We'll leave you alone if you just sit there and don't bother us.' "
Earlier this year, the results of a mathematics and science test of 12th graders in many countries showed the United States to be among the least knowledgeable. Earlier tests showed the lowest 25 percent of 8th graders in Japan and South Korea to outperform the average American student.
In the years since, numerous efforts have sprung up, from alternatives to public education like charter schools and voucher plans, to projects to improve teacher quality, widely perceived as the system's Achilles heel. Some states are now testing student teachers more rigorously and offering signing bonuses and plans to forgive student loans to encourage better candidates to enter the profession.
Many states also are instituting tests at various stages in school to insure that students do not graduate without basic skills and knowledge. Monday's report shows that Americans between the ages of 55 and 64, who graduated high school some 40 years ago, have a graduation rate of 77 percent, the highest in the OECD. Among those ages 24 to 34, who graduated about a decade ago, the United States slipped to eighth. Today's graduation rates, with the United States at 72 percent, place it second to last in the 29-nation group, above Mexico.
It seems unlikely that the shift reflects higher standards for graduation in the United States because comparisons of adult literacy rates in the study show Americans to be among the industrialized world's least literate populations.
According to the report, the United States' expenditure per pupil is still among the highest in the group at all levels of education.
Here's another prime example of everything that is WRONG with the LAUSD ....
As reported by the L.A. Times on March 17th, 2000 .... There seems to big a big "controversy" about how to teach kids math. Now as far as I know, math hasn't changed much in the last ba-zillion years. We still use a number system based on ten. Addition is still addition .... Subtraction is still subtraction ... 3X5 still equals 15 ... etc. We all had to learn the multiplication tables, right? There just isn't any other way to do it.
Well, it seems we have this brilliant Mr. Guillermo Mendieta who seems to think that the way kids are being taught math (And I don't know about recently .... judging by recent statistics, the way public school is teaching math, they must be doing something wrong because the little mutants now days can't even freekin' count change) alllllll the wrong way.
California wants to go back to the method used when I was in school. You learned your multiplication tables, and learned other formulas and methods through repetitive drills. Well, it worked wouldn't you say?
Well, Mr. Mendieta claims that learning math this way is BIASED towards Blacks, Latinos, the poor and disadvantaged. He says that the age old, tried and true methods have "negative" impact on the above mentioned groups. He says that traditional methods will doom these kids to failure.
He claims that we need to implement instructional methods that make math "accessible" (Whatever the fuck THAT is suppose to mean) to these "disadvantaged" kids....
In other words, he saying that Blacks, Mexicans, The Poor and Disadvantaged ..... Are too fucking stupid to learn math the way kids have been learning it for the last 100+ years.
So let me see here ... that must mean that 6X8 = 48 must be different to a black kid than a white kid. Or maybe he's just saying a black kid is to stupid to understand that 6X8 = 48, or to stupid to memorize that? That a Mexican kid is to stupid to understand what an improper fraction is, while an Asian kid does? That's EXACTLY what he saying, and then we all wonder why public school kids are a bunch of morons! Is it ANY wonder that 60% of 8th graders in the LAUSD don't know their multiplication tables with fucked-up bleeding-heart liberal thinking like this?? Is it any wonder that more than 1/2 of 9th graders in the LAUSD got a D or F in algebra?? Is it any wonder that the "remedial" (Basic 3-4th grade math) math taught to 9th graders, that the failure rate is even higher??
Of course NOT!! It doesn't MATTER whether the answer is right or not. We just want to make sure little "Johnny" feels "good" about himself. It doesn't matter that little Johnny is a blithering idiot, and can't figure out how old he is ... as long as he feels "good" about himself.
Sheeeesh ... you just watch. This kind of thinking is going to be the DOWNFALL of this nation.
And THERE you have it!