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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The half empty glass

I reminded the student in the tenth grade biology class a few minutes before the pretest, the tool I use to asses where the kids are with their knowledge, be sure you know how to draw a water molecule. Think Mickey Mouse hat and H20. She nodded her head, yes. When she turned in her paper, she had drawn a big circle and two smaller circles where ears might be. Okay I thought, and I even allowed myself a slight smile, that is until I saw what she labeled the circles, she labeled the big one O, and the two smaller ones, H and 2. That’s right, there was not an O and 2 Hs but, 1 H, 1 O and 1 2. Sigh. This is a nice kid too, well put together, reasonably polite, fairly quiet and she is 15 years old and has no idea how to draw a water molecule.

How does this girl get all the way to tenth grade and not know the makeup of water? Well it’s the same way kids get to high school and not know all the states or so many other things, it’s because these aren’t the answers to questions on standardized tests. It’s because they are pushed along without the skills they need to succeed. It’s because this is what the powers-that-be have transformed education into.

Welcome to the state of education, 2010. The glass isn’t half empty friends; there is a hole in it and water is draining out fast.

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