• when it hapend

    July 2017
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  • My Blog

    this is going to be my new blogsite for regular rants of mine.

    This hopefully will supplement my webpages.

    please, if you comment stay on subject. I am interested in feedback, especially real thoughtful feedback. if you don't agree with what i believe that's fine too, but argue about why you believe differently, if that's appropriate.

    and of course, this is for fun interest and for something to think about, not to offend anyone's ideas or beliefs.

  • admin thingy:

The State of Education

Our Education System was bunk when I was in High School and I graduated in ’91.

I went to high school in Glen Burnie, Maryland first, so the High Schools in Ohio were ruined for me after that. Maryland’s High School system was set up so that if you showed you were more advanced then you could be placed in higher level classes. Ohio has that now to some extent. There were other ways to move up in your classes there.

In Glen Burnie I benefited from this system. I started at Glen Burnie in the 9th Grade, and immediately put me in the 10th grade English class. English is easy and fun ! Besides, I always wanted to skip a grade in something ! Well, the class was Composition. By that time I had already started writing poetry and short stories on my own, and tried to write some Compositions/Essays. There isn’t a far stretch between a Composition and an Essay, or an Essay and a Research Report.

So, I went to class. The first day, I’m thinking, here I am with all these 10th graders, this is cool !

2nd day, I get to class and I notice most of the kids in the class are sleeping or talking in class and when I talk to them about stuff they look at me funny and don’t have much of a response. We have a classwork assignment to write about summer vacation and paint a picture with complete sentences, verb noun adjective pronoun. We were supposed to make sure there were plenty of adjectives cleanly related to the noun they were modifying, and pronouns that were just as succinct in their relationship. I remember because the teacher took a minute to show us how to diagram a sentence. I had never diagrammed a sentence before, but it was such a simple concept the teacher actually agreed when we discussed there was no place for the infinitives and conjunctions. The rest of the class was kind of lost at that point.

The 3rd day, I got kicked out. I went to class and some of the kids were talking about summer school. Summer school? I never went, would have refused, but given the chance I would have volunteered to go to school extra. By this time I’m thinking we get to write stories and I will get an easy A in this class !

Bad luck for me though ! At the end of class, the teacher actually told me to Get Out of her class ! When I tried to ask her what she meant, she told me I was way ahead of the other kids in the class. She gave me a pass to go see the Guidance Counselor that day so that I could be placed in the 11th grade English class ! And told me I would still get Credit for the 10th grade English class that I was skipping !

When I got to the next English class I was excited, but the classmates just looked at me and groaned a little. They didn’t share my enthusiasm. I thought when I was moved up to the 10th Grade English I was going to be behind. When they moved me to the 11th Grade English I was afraid I would be behind, but when I got there it was just another Essay class. Sometimes we had to study words and etymology, but that was fun, too !

But the point that this makes is that we need to identify the needs of the students and move them along to the level where they have some challenge. When I was in High School I wasted a lot of time “learning” things I already knew. Doing 3 months of fractions homework does not make someone better at fractions, just helps to identify the students who aren’t getting better at fractions.

In Ohio, I hear again and again all the bad effects of moving people up through the education system. They say students may not understand what they are learning at the higher levels because they have not had time to adjust and understand the previous lessons. I say teach them as much as we can as fast as we can.

When I was young I was an excellent speller, now I spell-check or I Google it. When I talk to a 12 year old kid and he asks me how to spell something, usually I just tell him/her to Google the thing. But when they ask,” How do you Google something?”, I can see then what our education system has become. A computer is a tool for people to use.

When we were young we were all good at math. When a kid asks me whats 103 – 57? I just put the finger to the calculator and go ! And when the kid asks me how to use the calculator the way I did, then I can see what our education system has become. A Calculator is a tool for people to use.

When I see a kid who gets angry when asked a question he/she can’t answer, I understand parents or the education system are to blame. If you can’t answer a question then Books are a good tool.

Most people know that I am a computer nerd. When kids have a computer problem and they sit there for a while and then they turn their laptop off, I am confused. People are a resource, and asking people questions in their specialty is a tool.


Schools have changed, no doubt. When I was younger I read an article about what schools were meant to be in the early days.

Grade:                     Lesson:

K-6:                               Sit down and shut up, raise your hand if you have a question, and only do what you’re told.

7-12:                            Read what’s in the book, repeat the answer when asked the question.

Follow the rules of the person in charge,  respect the other students.

Associates Degree: Learn the basics for all subjects. You have to know these things to carry on a

conversation with anyone who had this level of  education in a related field.

Bachelor’s Degree: Here’s the basics for your specialty in your field. You can do research to back up

the prevailing opinion on any subject.

Master’s Degree: Learn how to think an original thought and do your own research to back it up.

At a business, when HR is looking for the right person for the job, this is what they look at to determine what education level they need in the candidate.

Someone who is 15-16 years old has been told all their lives, don’t do just follow directions, and mediocre is okay. The perfect fast-food employee.

If you’re looking for a shift supervisor, you may be looking for a high school graduate, someone who has mastered “do what you’re told” and will tell other people what to “do as they’re told.”

Associate’s Degree holder is the person who you want to know about everything you do, not how to do it, but what needs to be done to get there and how to back you up while you do the hard stuff.

Of course, if you want someone to be assigned a job and they do that job, then that’s where your Bachelor’s Degree person comes in.

Master’s Degree person is the person you hire who can go out and do research on a task, find out how it’s been done in the past, study your business to see what needs need to be met, then use their education and experience to make a plan and get the materials and staff gathered up to get the job done.

In our society, what people do you see in High School or starting college that you think will make it to this level ? Today, someone between 20-25 can have their own business if they are talented and can use the tools that I mentioned above.

In the old days, say the 1930’s, Adults were people who could go out and live on their own, build their own home, do the job that they have apprenticed to do, and start their own business doing the job they have trained their whole lives to do. The adults of our age, our students coming out of High School (or maybe College) need to be at this level.

Some people believe that in order to compete with other countries they need to be higher than this level.