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Sunday, November 28, 2010

What? No More Brownie Points! It’s … It’s UnAmerican!

The Sunday November 28th, 2010 New York Times, Week In Review p. 3 reports that because some kids with B+ and A averages cannot pass standardized tests, and because other students with F, E, and D averages do pass them, that awarding grade points for homework done (and other not directly academic activity) will be tightly curtailed in certain school districts.

This is dangerously revolutionary! It threatens to invert the pyramid of scholastic honors by giving top rank to hard-scrabble, lower-class NERDS, (and too many Asian students)! Such a policy fails to appreciate the social graces hard-won by students from Middle Class and Elite families who know how to show appreciation for the (often, very subtle) humor, insights and wisdoms of whoever is in charge. A “Yes, sir!” or an “Of course, ma’am!” is worth a hundred solved quadratic equations.

Mere technical skills are not what move a person up in the corporate world. Technicians, accountants and engineers are just hired help. A head full of facts is not necessary, or even desirable to achieve even the highest political office! Schools that serve the fetish of skills and facts are schools that will graduate workers destined to suffer resizing!

To examine these issues further, see Productivity, Politics and Hypocrisy in American Public Education

--- EGR