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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Generation snowflake

They can't handle the academic competition now. Everyone's a valedictorian!
At many American high schools, the graduation-day tradition of crowning a valedictorian is becoming a thing of the past.

The ranking of students from No. 1 on down, based on grade-point averages, has been fading steadily for about the past decade. In its place are honors that recognize everyone who scores at a certain threshold — using Latin honors, for example. This year, one school in Tennessee had 48 valedictorians.

About half of schools no longer report class rank, according to the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Administrators worry about the college prospects of students separated by large differences in class rank despite small differences in their GPAs, and view rankings as obsolete in an era of high expectations for every student, association spokesman Bob Farrace said. There are also concerns about intense, potentially unhealthy competition and students letting worries about rank drive their course selections.

Among those weighing a change is Lancaster High School in suburban Buffalo, where students are leading an exploration of replacing valedictorian-salutatorian recognitions with the college-style Latin honors of summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude.

The principal, Cesar Marchioli, said he’s neutral on the issue, though he feels for the 11th-ranked student who falls just short of the recognition awarded to the top 10 seniors honored at the annual banquet.

Graduating Lancaster senior Connor Carrow, 17, has pressed for the switch to Latin honors since his sophomore year, well before landing just out of the top 10, at No. 14, while serving as student union president and playing varsity lacrosse and hockey. He said it’s a better fit with the school’s collaborative and cooperative ideals.

“You’re striving for that (honor) personally, but you’re not hoping that you’re better than these other 400 people next to you,” Carrow said.
And really, isn't the concept of grades intrinsically anti-egalitarian, if not downright racist? Students should attend school for the experience, they shouldn't be expected to actually learn anything.

Labels:

149 Comments:

Blogger 4499 June 15, 2017 12:17 PM  

I'm so confused.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 June 15, 2017 12:24 PM  

Well, if everyone is going to college anyways....

Blogger Bill Halsey June 15, 2017 12:25 PM  

Participation medals for all

Blogger allyn71 June 15, 2017 12:25 PM  

I went to a graduation a couple weeks ago for a private Catholic school. Out of a class of 120 there were 23 valedictorians, 8 salutatorians, and 53 students with 3.7 GPA(unwieghted) or higher (44%). I commented at the time that they were not grading hard enough or demanding enough of the students if almost 1/2 the class was "exceptional".

Asked the graduate about is and he said alot of kids were ducking hard courses so they could get "easy A's". Sounds like it is more widespread than I thought.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore June 15, 2017 12:27 PM  

The government education industry has persisted in eliminating grades. Remember the time when social promotion was advocated? It was rejected so the Lefties, who dominate the government education industry, pursued other means. What they're doing now is punishing teachers for giving failing grades. Here's how this is done: teachers are required to provide "documentation" of the reasons for the failing grades which includes parental notifications and contacts even though the parents can easily see the grades online at any given moment.

Stefan Monlyneux said that as government begins to take over education in a given society (ie. Europe, America), the people of that society are indoctrinated to support statist expansions (ie. climate change legislation, use tof state power to promote "equality").

Anonymous fop June 15, 2017 12:29 PM  

Sorry Chang, Wang, Nguyen, Chung, Hong, Hung, Ichiro, and Fong.

You'll just have to play sports if you want a trophy.

Anonymous BluePony June 15, 2017 12:32 PM  

How is it not obvious even to dimwits that this is deliberate dumbing down? I don;t mean the Progs- that's their goal- but normies. They're still locked into the "well, lets vote for more taxes and bonds to fix it" death spiral.

If someone truly cared about education, they would be forging a K-12 system that prepares students for nearly every job (obvious things like medicine excepted) possible without further college.

I'm an EE. I could easily see having received sufficient education to start this career before graduation high school if it had been available. All you need is a solid grounding in basic RF and digital concepts along with good hands on labs. A lot of the tools can be had for free from the manufactures because it's advertising for them directly to people who will eventually want to use their components.

Honestly, five years in >90% of what I was doing was based on things I learned on the job.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 15, 2017 12:33 PM  

Out of a class of 120 there were 23 valedictorians, 8 salutatorians, and 53 students with 3.7 GPA(unwieghted) or higher (44%).

Well, my class in 1987 was 12.5% valedictorians.

Oh wait, that's because there were only 8 of us in total.

Granted I attended small, rural schools; but I've never heard of multiple valedictorians before. Learn something new every day, I guess.

Blogger SemiSpook37 June 15, 2017 12:33 PM  

Well, seeing as how my high school diploma is now old enough to drink, this reminds me of the uber nerd one-upmanship that occurred in my particular class. The urinary olympics that occurred between the top 5 was rather amusing to watch. It's sad to see this stuff get canned because of feelings. I don't care if I'm special for finishing tops in my class. Being a B/C student allows a bit of flexibility in any number of vocations. That's the downside of being a straight A student: you're the poor bastard that gets stuck doing all the work.

Blogger MagisterGreen June 15, 2017 12:34 PM  

It's (sadly) hilarious also to consider that as more and more kids earn "honors" of various and sundry sorts, the more those kids without any such honors stand out. Roads to hell and all that.

Anonymous Faceless June 15, 2017 12:35 PM  

Keep the rankings, but quantify them to your particular oppression group, since nobody can understand how bad overweight lesbian Mormon communist trumpet players have it - almost everyone will be No. 1 in their oppression class.

Anonymous Andrew E. June 15, 2017 12:40 PM  

I graduated high school '97 and we had 14 valedictorians out of a class of 550. Anyone with a 4.0 or greater (with AP credits) was a valedictorian and each got to stand in front of the class at graduation and give a quote (rather than a single valedictorian giving a speech). I was rather shy in high school and threw a couple finals my senior year and ended up #15.

Blogger James Dixon June 15, 2017 12:41 PM  

> Students should attend school for the experience, they shouldn't be expected to actually learn anything.

Isn't that the case with most college degrees these days?

Blogger Lovekraft June 15, 2017 12:42 PM  

Post-modernism is the decimation of the individual in favor of group identity. It doesn't matter anymore what your own character is, your identity in such and such a group is all that matters.

Paraphrasing J Peterson.

So schools under the post-modernist structure will oppose individual merit, or at least push the less deserving up the ladder.

Blogger Otto Lamp June 15, 2017 12:43 PM  

The valedictorian for my high school class participated in no activities. No sports, no clubs (not even science clubs), no band, nothing.

On top of that, he had a strange personality (I'm an INTP personality, so for me to deem someone strange means he was really out there).

He had the highest grades, so he got the title, but nobody was thinking this kid would go far.

Blogger Dexter June 15, 2017 12:43 PM  

Also racist: "gifted and talented" programs.

Dindus are simply "gifted and talented" in a different way!

Blogger Robert June 15, 2017 12:44 PM  

Why should we have only one President? "Winning" a vote is SO exclusionary! Look how bad losing the vote made the Lizard Queen feel! Why, it's anti-reptilism! Anyone who feels like she's a President should be one!

Anonymous DaveInjustice June 15, 2017 12:44 PM  

Hah I knew it was coming. After a few solid days of boomer smashing Vox couldn't resist turning it back to millennials. Had to see if all the millennials trashing boomers for not being able to take criticism could take their own medicine I guess...

Blogger SouthRon June 15, 2017 12:45 PM  

Students should attend school for the experience, they shouldn't be expected to actually learn anything.

*snort*

They don't learn anything.

My nephew just graduated High School in an unique manner. He was so bored with school, he found it more of a challenge to convince his teachers that he was a complete moron that couldn't learn and get them to simply pass him along and graduate him in spite of his grades and scores. He succeeded.

He has had a job for a few years now, has bought his own very nice car and is working to learn how to run and manage a business while taking just a few college classes to cover his knowledge gaps.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 15, 2017 12:45 PM  

Students should attend school for the experience, they shouldn't be expected to actually learn anything.

Achievement unlocked!

Anonymous BBGKB June 15, 2017 12:46 PM  

Man this is really going to screw up Steve Sailor's refutation of illegal alien valedictorians once everyone that graduates counts.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer June 15, 2017 12:46 PM  

allyn71 wrote:I went to a graduation a couple weeks ago for a private Catholic school. Out of a class of 120 there were 23 valedictorians, 8 salutatorians, and 53 students with 3.7 GPA(unwieghted) or higher (44%). I commented at the time that they were not grading hard enough or demanding enough of the students if almost 1/2 the class was "exceptional".

Asked the graduate about is and he said alot of kids were ducking hard courses so they could get "easy A's". Sounds like it is more widespread than I thought.


It's not the easy A's or at least it wasn't when I was in highschool. It was the easy A's in weighted AP classes. Giving out that extra point (A's count as 5 in AP classes) pretty much ruined any semblance of realistic GPA's. To compound the issue AP wasn't really all that much harder than regular courses. When the top 10% of a graduating class all end up with GPA's above 4.0 there is a big problem. I suspect it has a lot to do giving lower IQ populations the appearance of being above average with GPAs in the 3's.

Anonymous Rebel Gamer June 15, 2017 12:48 PM  

I deal with this nonsense at work. I hire people who want to be rewarded for showing up and doing a mediocre job. They genuinely believe they deserve recognition for making a half-assed attempt at something.

Anonymous Damn Crackers June 15, 2017 12:51 PM  

As a forty-something year old salutatorian, I still believe no one should go to college who isn't proficient in Latin, Greek, or calculus.

Blogger Nate June 15, 2017 12:52 PM  

Homeschool or die.

Blogger Lazarus June 15, 2017 12:56 PM  

view rankings as obsolete in an era of high expectations

What era are they referring to here?

Anonymous Andrew E. June 15, 2017 12:56 PM  

As a forty-something year old salutatorian, I still believe no one should go to college who isn't proficient in Latin, Greek, or calculus.

Yep, that's the way it should be. Albert Nock saw this degradation almost a 100 years ago.

Blogger Duke Norfolk June 15, 2017 12:56 PM  

Rabbits (r-selected) hate competition. And even more to the point they hate those who compete.

Blogger Nick S June 15, 2017 12:58 PM  

This proves they don't really belive in all their relative self assesment nonsense. Otherwise, the kids could simply self-identify as valedictorians and call it good.

Blogger Zach June 15, 2017 1:00 PM  

@Cail,

Valedictorian of a slightly larger rural school district. I was the top 2% of my graduating class. We did, however have co-salutatorians, and the year before we had co-valedictorians.

But those were all because of genuine mathematical ties on a 4.0 scale without weighting AP classes (which we didn't have).

Nothing prevents districts from awarding the Latin honors as well as valedictorian and salutatorian. Colleges do it.

peace,
Zach

Blogger Duke Norfolk June 15, 2017 1:00 PM  

MagisterGreen wrote:It's (sadly) hilarious also to consider that as more and more kids earn "honors" of various and sundry sorts, the more those kids without any such honors stand out.

Yep. And that's why this inevitably ends in no awards or distinctions at all. A perfect rabbit world.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr June 15, 2017 1:01 PM  

I don't worry about competition at the high school level. They don't know what real competition is, there aren't enough high performers to make a competitive field. The big problem is making sure that the courses are properly weighted - General Mathematics should NOT be considered equal to Calculus.

Blogger Adm Trell June 15, 2017 1:04 PM  

The high school I used to teach at was an academic train-wreck. Years ago, they had trouble with kids who would get A's and B's the first semester, then do nothing the rest of the year, bc it would average out to be higher than 0.5, or whatever was considered passing. So to prevent this, they put in a rule that you had to pass a total of 4 of 6 major grades (4 nine-weeks and 2 exams) and only 1 of those failing grades could be in the 2nd semester. This of course created a whole new conundrum for the administration, when tons of kids were failing by the end of the first semester. So, enormous pressure was put on teachers to lower the grading scale, offer extra-credit, call parents (as if they cared), etc etc. It got so bad, they were allowing the manipulative parents to say their kids were learning impaired just so they could duck the system, and the school was fine w/that bc, it kept us from failing them and they got more Title 1 $$$.

Blogger Duke Norfolk June 15, 2017 1:08 PM  

I first saw this multiple valedictorian nonsense quite a few years ago. I can't recall how long it's been. But - of course - it has just gotten more and more absurd. 48 - that's beyond laughable.

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass June 15, 2017 1:09 PM  

I graduated a private Catholic co-ed high school in '05. We had one valedictorian and one salutorian. I knew both but was friends with the valedictorian. He played volleyball (as did I), drank, and smoked weed (I didn't partake in the chiefing). He was naturally intelligent. I placed 73 out of a class of 273.

After starting work/going to college who care what your GPA or rank was in high school? Furthermore, who really cares after you got accepted to college or got a job offer? I got accepted fall semester of my senior year to college. It was coasting after that.

Anonymous Damn Crackers June 15, 2017 1:10 PM  

@27 Nock's teachers "did not pretend to believe that everyone is educable, for they knew, on the contrary, that very few are educable, very few indeed. They saw this as a fact of nature, like the fact that few are six feet tall. [...] They accepted the fact that there are practicable ranges of intellectual and spiritual experience which nature has opened to some and closed to others."

AJ Nock, Memoirs of a Superfluous Man

Blogger Duke Norfolk June 15, 2017 1:12 PM  

Adm Trell wrote:and the school was fine w/that bc, it kept us from failing them and they got more Title 1 $$$.

Schools have largely just become all about the federal money; as with so much else in our corrupted society. That's what perfect attendance has morphed into. Once upon a time it was motivated by genuine concern for students' well-being. Now it's just another way to ensure maximum fed payoffs. Disgusting. But what else is new in the American Empire.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky June 15, 2017 1:13 PM  

What I can't get over is the ease they have at changing everything under everybody's feet all the time. What hubris, these changes are almost always a bad idea. Everywhere, all the rules, from toiletry to football to going in for your physical. Nothing is sacred with these SJWs except themselves.

Blogger Rabbi B June 15, 2017 1:14 PM  

Why are parents are still sending their kids to these state-run asylums is beyond me.

Blogger Mocheirge June 15, 2017 1:16 PM  

48 valedictorians?!? That has to have been the longest graduation ceremony ever. I'd imagine that the density of cliches and platitudes from all those speeches in a single gym could have sparked a singularity.

I love the line: “You’re striving for that (honor) personally, but you’re not hoping that you’re better than these other 400 people next to you”. That would be competitive and anti-egalitarian. You just want to be more equal than your equals next to you.

Blogger Chris Lutz June 15, 2017 1:17 PM  

You either have to home school or carefully pick a private/charter school. The regular schools are trash.

Anonymous crew June 15, 2017 1:18 PM  

@23: I hire people who want to be rewarded for showing up and doing a mediocre job. They genuinely believe they deserve recognition for making a half-assed attempt at something.

So, stop hiring them. Take them on on probation for the first three months, or as interns for the first three months. Or even, as Vox has said, take them on as volunteers for a few months. Look for real examples of their work ethic.

Anonymous Baseball Savant June 15, 2017 1:19 PM  

“You’re striving for that (honor) personally, but you’re not hoping that you’re better than these other 400 people next to you,” Carrow said.

WTF? I was always hoping I was better than the other 400 next to me and then I'd rub in their face. The best class I ever had in high school was AP Physics and it was just me and 7 other guys. The competition was INSANE in the class and the complete trashing of the other kids in the class was merciless when one of us got the highest grade in the class. Admittedly of those 8 people, 3 are doctors and 5 are engineers, but I probably got more out of that class than any other.

The one thing I hate about the snowflake generation is that we are losing the art of trash talking our peers about how much better we are than them!

Blogger Dire Badger June 15, 2017 1:22 PM  

Losers always want to change the rules to make them the winners rather than putting in the work to BECOME winners.

Valedictorian on a curve. Yeah, that really shows academic excellence.

"Mah name is Keh-Bopa Washington, And I Is gettin a aca... asse...school scholashipment cause I is Valadictationer at mah schoo'."

Anonymous p-dawg June 15, 2017 1:23 PM  

High expectations for every student? The guy's a comedian, I see.

Blogger Nick S June 15, 2017 1:23 PM  

...and, right on queue, I just watched Chris Wallace whining about people talking mean to him. For God's sake man up. If I got my feelings hurt evertime someone called me a binary thinking boomer-tard gamma navel gazer, I'd just curl up in the corner and cry myself to sleep.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 15, 2017 1:24 PM  

Nothing prevents districts from awarding the Latin honors as well as valedictorian and salutatorian. Colleges do it.

True. Around here they've always had the Dean's List, which is the same kind of thing -- an honor for grades that any number of people could get, completely separate from rank.

By coincidence, I overheard a conversation at a farm auction the other day:

Man: Saw your name in the paper the other day.
Girl: Oh, the Dean's List, right?
Man: Congratulations! Was that your first time on it?
Girl: No, I've been on it every year.
Man: That's great. [At this point, I expected depressing talk about college and career.] And I heard you're getting married next year?
Girl: Yep, June 18th! [Big smile and chatter about wedding plans]

Warmed my heart. Some of them escape the system.

Blogger RobertT June 15, 2017 1:26 PM  

This is all due to grading on the curve. A strict numerical percentage grade would solve this problem overnight.

Blogger allyn71 June 15, 2017 1:26 PM  

@22 Basementhomebrewer

It was the easy A's in weighted AP classes. Giving out that extra point (A's count as 5 in AP classes) pretty much ruined any semblance of realistic GPA's.

Originally thought the same thing but found out this particular school still uses unweighted GPA's. No 5 pts scale for AP classes. Of course they are changing that starting this year. If they are lucky everyone will be perfect now.

Blogger mgh June 15, 2017 1:26 PM  

Time to apply this to sports. The All-State Football team will have hundreds of players on it. And how about 40 Mr. Basketballs in each state every year, maybe even some of pale complexion.

Anonymous CarpeOro June 15, 2017 1:30 PM  

From what I vaguely recall of my class of '83, our valedictorian was probably in clubs (female and of that click) but wasn't in the most advanced classes. I guess you could call it an award for recognizing her limitations and excelling at that point. She was not in the same league intellectually as the guys I hung out with (engineering degrees from UofM working at JPL, Lockeheed-Martin, etc) or as successful as one of the burnouts (marijuana smokers for you youngsters) who started an earth moving business and had a few bulldozers and such by our 20th reunion.

Blogger Dire Badger June 15, 2017 1:31 PM  

To be completely honest, even an arts degree would not be completely useless if all the kids getting such degrees were not completely useless.

I got an arts degree on my GI Bill, and now make a comfortable living as an actual artist. The kids I see in arts programs now, though, simply want an easy ride to the good life, and have absolutely none of the talent or dedication needed to actually use that degree... they would be better off picking fruit or laying concrete.

"I have a 4 year degree and it's useless! why can't I get a job?" "Because you are Lazy. Nothing helps lazy."

Anonymous CarpeOro June 15, 2017 1:31 PM  

Oh, forgot the astronaut from my class.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener June 15, 2017 1:32 PM  

I ran out of honors and AP classes to take and began my senior year of high school needing to complete only two hours out of a possible seven, and the non-honors classes drag down your GPA. And the school woulnd't offer any accommodations for self-study. But Texas has a law that a student has to attend at least 90% of class days to get credit for the class - so I just skipped the classes that were hurting me. That little trick almost backfired when I realized that a couple of my teachers weren't even bothering to take attendance, so I had to show up just to start marking myself absent on the attendance roster they left outside the door. By the time the admins figured out what I'd done they couldn't do anything about it.

Blogger allyn71 June 15, 2017 1:33 PM  

From what I vaguely recall of my class of '83, our valedictorian was probably in clubs (female and of that click)

CarpeOro, that comment reminded me of another anecdote. Of the 23 Valedictorians I mentioned earlier. 3 of them were guys, the other 20 were girls. GRRRLLL POWAH!!! is real I guess.

Blogger dadofhomeschoolers June 15, 2017 1:35 PM  

I graduated lawdycomesoon. My boys each graduated at the top of their class, despite their teacher having an affair with the principal.

Blogger Chris Lutz June 15, 2017 1:44 PM  

@43 We were the first class, mid-80's at a country school, to have a calculus class. Friend of my was a wiz with math and wanted it. He managed to have it arranged while a Freshmen that there would be a calculus class his senior year if he double up on algebra II and geometry. He talked about six others of us to do the same thing.

It was a great math class because all of the slackers were gone and we could concentrate on what we were there for. About 12 years later they weren't teaching it anymore because no one wanted to take it even though you didn't have to double up class any longer.

Anonymous Avalanche June 15, 2017 1:48 PM  

@13 "Isn't that the case with most college degrees these days?"

No, because in college they learn to drink and screw... Oh, or has that been moved down to high school now?
Never mind.

Anonymous Avalanche June 15, 2017 1:49 PM  

@17 "Anyone who feels like she's a President should be one!"

God knows, she self-identifies as one!

Blogger CM June 15, 2017 1:53 PM  

If your 4.0s occupy 50% of the class, start raising standards.

Anonymous Avalanche June 15, 2017 1:56 PM  

@19 "convince his teachers that he was a complete moron that couldn't learn and get them to simply pass him along and graduate him in spite of his grades and scores."

Before you blame it all on the teachers:

(from here:
http://www.snowtao.com/family/daddy.htm#illit )

Point of View, The Port Jefferson Record (January 27, 1977): On the illiterate high school graduate

There is a five-million dollar suit being initiated against Copaigue by Attorney Siben of Bay Shore. The case concerns a semi-literate young man who holds a diploma from Copaigue High School. The suit raises several interesting and important questions.

The first is: Whose fault is it that the young man can't read or write above an elementary-school level? That opens a can of worms, but a few things can be said to help untangle it.
...

... a ... diploma is an expensive piece of paper certifying that he finished his last three years of school attendance in the Copaigue High School. (Not meant as a wisecrack.)

On a more complex level the diploma is at least (1) A part of the 300-year-old American dream of true citizenship for all, to free the mumbling masses of peasants so necessary to church and state dictatorships. It was no less than universal education, one of the noblest visions ever seen by mankind. (2) A door-opener for most employment. It won’t keep you in the job, but you can't get the job without it. (3) A reward for being a reasonably decent and cooperative young person. 4) A weak guarantee that the possessor is socially mature enough to take a place in our civilized society. (5) Problematically, some sort of warranty of acceptable literacy. It was for this that the Board of Regents instituted the Minimum Competency Exam requiring an "eighth-grade" education of high-school graduates. (If I sound bitter, it's because I've been living with these paradoxes for 29 years.)

The problem obviously is the distance from 1 to 5, from the dream to the reality. Put it this way: if you must have a job to live like a human being, and if you must have a diploma to get a job, then you must have a diploma to live. Not necessarily an education, but a diploma. And the teachers have had to face that fact. Weeping and wailing about "standards," they have been slowly forced over several years to award a diploma to practically everyone but social psychopaths. Try to imagine young, 17-year-old Donohue in a fifth-grade class half-full of 11- and 12-year old girls who are beginning to feel, in that immortal phrase, the "first faint stirrings of womanhood." Do you leave him in there, or get him out? And if you get him out, where do you put him?
... "

Yes, sure, lots of teachers today are SJWs (they weren't back then! Ha, that op-ed is from 40 years ago!); but it's the parents and administrators (and the +*&%^@#$ govt!) who run the show now!

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 15, 2017 1:57 PM  

I admit that I am skeptical of class rankings as a means to improve general education.

However the reason they want to make them meaningless is to cover up the quality of the education their students received.

This is an Eighth Grade final examination from 1895. Note the use of the word "examination" instead of "exam". This was not a multiple choice test. If you were an eighth grade student in 1895 your teacher would decide on the basis of your answers to these questions whether or not you were a dumbass. If you adjudged to be a dumbass you would not receive your Eighth grade diploma and your education would end.

How well would you do?

Anonymous polarbearballs June 15, 2017 2:00 PM  

Slightly O/T, but aligned with this, Vox, really enjoyed your podcast with Stefan. The Lena Dunham ref (so Snowflake), was spot on...and ties into the whole Gen-Snowflake/Crybully, which is that they ALL THINK they are "iconic"...the "voice of their generation". Everything for them is narcissism writ large--high self-value without the accomplishments.

Anonymous andon June 15, 2017 2:01 PM  

....and view rankings as obsolete in an era of high expectations for every student

they're joking right?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 June 15, 2017 2:03 PM  

Seriously, graduating from high school shouldn't be as celebrated as it is. Congrats, you passed all your classes in your mandatory education from the State. Now get to work!

Blogger Wally Bangs June 15, 2017 2:05 PM  

The multiple valedictorian nonsense started in my home town back in the 80's due to a legal challenge from the parents of a student who finished with a 4.0 along with 3 others. Instead of picking 1 of the 4 (which wasn't to have been that student) the school just gave the award to all 4.

Anonymous DonReynolds June 15, 2017 2:06 PM  

The easiest way to start a fistfight among college professors, regardless of what they teach, is to start talking about the purpose of grades in the classroom.

Basically, there are two main arguments.
First is CRITERION based, which is the one I favored for twenty years, along with many other professors. If you do 80 percent of what is expected in the course, that will be your grade. If you fail, as defined by the university at 60 or 70 percent (depending), then you fail the course. Your grade has nothing to do with how smart or how stupid the other people in the class might be. You make your own grade, regardless of who else takes that class. Yes, that means everyone can fail the class or do really well.

The more progressive approach to grading is to rank all of the students from best to worst and grade them all based on a NORMAL distribution. Your grade is determined only partly on what YOU do in the course, mostly it matters who else is in the class. If you are a class full of idiots, you might still get an excellent grade because you did better than the other idiots. If you did very well in the course, you may still end up with a C grade, because there were so many others who did slightly better....and the competition for the fixed number of letter grades was fierce....Yes, even the failures had be spectacular to win a F letter grade. Most people are "average" so most people will get a C grade, no matter what they do in the course. Everyone is distributed on the NORMAL parabolic curve. To make the best grades, for the same amount of effort, follow the worst students. Take the same classes they do.

Blogger Chiva June 15, 2017 2:06 PM  

@64. They are not joking. Most likely they think previous eras had low expectations for every student.

Anonymous c matt June 15, 2017 2:15 PM  

We used both the valedictorian/salutatorian and the cum laude, etc. designations. So if you had a certain GPA, you get the Latin honors. The valedictorian/Salutatorian was picked out of the top 5 (maybe 10?) in rank, based upon overall contribution - community service, leadership, non-academic activities, etc. I was never in danger of being vale/sale, so it was largely "academic" to me. Still had class rankings. I don't see why it all can't be tabulated and then the colleges can pick whatever criteria suits their fancy/diversity goals.

Blogger Feather Blade June 15, 2017 2:22 PM  

The elementary-secondary school I went to has always has Latin honors. And there was never more than one valedictorian and salutatorian for each graduating 12th grade class.

These people are stupid to think "Latin honors" and "Single valedictorian" are mutually exclusive.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky June 15, 2017 2:27 PM  

My high school salutatorian was the most intelligent person I've ever met. A freaky, weird genius. A mousy little white girl. Everything she did, she did with astonishing ease, rapidity, and excellence. This was in a school that was rather famous at the time for its academic achievement. There's a plaque in the White House dedicated to my school and in particular my graduating class. I don't know, something was in the water? I grew up among absolute geniuses somehow. I was in there with guys who stepped up to the piano at age 5 for the first time and started playing concertos by ear all of a sudden. I was in there with guys who could glance at a page of randomly paced dots on a page and say, "There are 632 dots on that page," and be correct. That kinda of thing happened. They brought in people to test us (I was always the control, sigh).

And this meek little girl, our salutatorian, was easily, very easily, the runaway champion of us all. Any of us could have told you that, no contest.

But thing is, we had a black guy, so he became our valedictorian. He was an exceptional student and bright guy, there might have been a way to make him valedictorian in a plausible way, and you can rest assured that way was found. But truly on our internal pecking order, if you asked any of us to make a list of the ten brightest of the bright in that school he wouldn't have been on it.

And I believe that same dynamic is driving all these games with the honors. The truth is that Asians and whites are running away with what academic achievement there is left in our schools. So, they are moving the goalposts.

Anonymous Trent Deen June 15, 2017 2:29 PM  

Sorry you guys have lost

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFeWsDpy9y0

Blogger Conor Foran June 15, 2017 2:33 PM  

Another problem here is that this is a vicious cycle. Colleges want good grades... high schools want their graduates to go to good colleges (for the bragging rights, if nothing else). But since the irresponsible high schools artificially inflate their kids gpas, the colleges create arbitrarily high standards, and the other, honest high schools (those there are) have to adopt the lower standards just to stay competitive. It's simple devaluation.

I attended a Catholic Benedictine all-boys school - it was the very best high school in my town. There was no grading on a curve, no artificially inflated grades - one class I had, AP Statistics, the average grade in the class was 65 and the median 60. Nonetheless, every single one of the boys in that class, despite failing, went on to get a 4 or a 5 (B or A grade) on the AP Exam for college credit. But that didn't do a tinker's damn to help our GPAs, with a big fat F sitting on our transcripts for all three trimesters of Junior year - when we were applying to colleges.

Every single college I interviewed at, every single college fair I attended, I would walk up to the college recruiter. "I'm interested in your college," I would say. Unenthusiastically, they would begin to declaim the high standards of their school, the minimum GPAs and the SAT and ACT scores and the necessity of extracurriculars. Then they would ask, "What high school do you go to?"

I would answer, "Oh, I attend X school," and suddenly their demeanor would completely reverse. "You go there?" they would say. "Here! Take another brochure! Would you like a tour of our campus? I'm sure we can put together an excellent incentive package for you! How many college credits do you already have?" (45 AP credit hours, btw.)

But. But but but. Many of these college recruiters had those pesky minimum GPA standards they had to meet for all of their candidates - usually a 3.7-4.0 MINIMUM. Sometimes, a 4.3 MINIMUM. And because my classes were traditionally graded, because my school did not curve or artificially inflate grades, they were forced to admit (often with great disappointment) that they would have to decline my application. Because all grades are equal in quality to all other grades, because all schools are equal in quality to all other schools. Right?

So my school was highly competitive - but because it did not artificially inflate grades, the individual students were not as competitive as they ought to have been.

It's very much like the prisoner's dilemma. Do you (as a high school) contribute to the overall degeneracy of the educational system by messing with your students' grades? Or do you not, and let your students take the hit for having "bad grades" because a 4.3 is the new 3.0?

Just my two cents.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 15, 2017 2:43 PM  

Grade inflation exists for the same reason as regular inflation: sociopaths bribing the clueless.

Blogger Troy Lee Messer June 15, 2017 2:45 PM  

Blacks are natural born talents at entropy.

Blogger Dr Caveman June 15, 2017 2:48 PM  

Meanwhile, our competitors are trained in a second-place-is-the-first-loser mindset

Anonymous VFM #6306 June 15, 2017 2:50 PM  

Next thing you know, Hodgkinton will be awarded a sharpshooting trophy.

Anonymous AzDesertRat June 15, 2017 2:50 PM  

Meh. Doing well in high school is hardly a predictor of real world future success.

In my graduating class (1998) we had around 175 kids. If I remember correctly there were 2 co-valedictorians who were massive over achievers. One male, one female. The female had been skipped up a grade on 2 separate occasions and was graduating at 16. She was all lined up for some Ivy League school, and was going to be a doctor. The male was going to the Naval Academy.
She ended up flaming out, dropping out of school, and last I heard (several years ago) was up to kid # 4 from multiple dads, and was working some bullshit corporate job for "diversity hires" (she was a half and half black/white mix).
I don't know if he ever made it through the Academy but I vaguely recall that he either flunked out, or was booted out of the Navy shortly after graduating.

Flip side of the coin, my best friend barely graduated at all (GPA of 1.67) but he was working nearly full time by our junior year. He started tending bar at 18, worked his way up to management, and just recently bought out the owners of the place he has been working at for almost 20 years.
Another friend of mine, whose parents were told by the school administration that he was retarded, started his own landscaping company, grew that into a business so big he had to hire help. Then got into roofing, siding, and window replacement, and built that business up to the point where he hired other people to run it full time as well. He is in his late 30's and spends most of his time on the golf course except for two days a week where he goes into his businesses (I think he has 4 now) for status reports.

So yeah, high school "academic success" means fuck all.

Blogger Chris Lutz June 15, 2017 2:51 PM  

@76 Which is just as foolish in some regards.

Blogger kurt9 June 15, 2017 3:03 PM  

I saw this on the Drudge this morning and had the same thoughts as our host. This stuff is getting nauseating to me.

Anonymous DonReynolds June 15, 2017 3:04 PM  

For people who fret over grades and grade point averages, I always tell them the same things.

First, when I was studying engineering in the 1970s, we had a good way of summarizing the role of grades in life. The A students get the Best Jobs, with Companies managed by the B students, which are owned by the C students.

Secondly, my own experience has caused me to formulate Reynolds Law....All effort beyond 2.5 is wasted effort in undergrad. You only need a 2.5 to get into graduate school, so you can learn something useful. My own undergrad gpa....2.56....I overdid it just a tiny bit, but I promise you, it was only an accident.

That inglorious gpa did not keep me from graduating with masters and doctorate later, with almost 4.0, nor did it keep me from teaching at eleven colleges and universities, part-time and full-time, or working for Bill Clinton or Mike Huckabee in state government.

The truth is, grades mean little or nothing in much of the world.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable June 15, 2017 3:20 PM  

I deal with this nonsense at work. I hire people who want to be rewarded for showing up and doing a mediocre job. They genuinely believe they deserve recognition for making a half-assed attempt at something.

For eight years I had a manager who took every cent the company allotted him for raises at annual review time and divided it equally among all the staff.

When he eventually moved on, he was replaced by a former IT guy who doled out raises on the basis of who produced the most for him.

Guess who maximized productivity?

Blogger Lucas June 15, 2017 3:29 PM  

Feminized "schools" dont want medals based on hard work and competition. U"s are nostly hug-boxes

Blogger Otto Lamp June 15, 2017 3:31 PM  

@Avalanche,

Ironiclly, the drive for universal public education in early America was spurred by Protestant Christianity which desired for everyone to have the ability to read the Bible.

If only they could have seen what became of public education.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club June 15, 2017 3:50 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Sheila4g June 15, 2017 3:52 PM  

Half of this is the snowflake syndrome and participation trophy culture, but there other half is immigration/Asian grind and cheating culture. Before we pulled our younger son from Christian school, half the class would be on the honor roll. Yes, they gave a lot of homework and some of the kids worked hard, but it was absolutely meaningless - and even then, the parents of the kids who didn't quite make it complained it unfairly stigmatized and traumatized their children. We refused to allow our older son's Christian school to make him the Valedictorian
{8th grade so it didn't really matter}, although he had the GPA, because we knew he had been slacking off and didn't deserve the honor.

The local public schools saw lawsuits about a decade ago because of all the Asian immigration - because of the honor's and/or AP classes anyone who wants to even be considered in the running needs a greater than 4.0 GPA. They now carry it out to unlimited decimal places. When we used to get the paper I'd peruse the listings of all the DFW Valedictorian names - fewer than 5% Whites. Chinese, Korean, Indian, and a few Jews.

It's like the spelling bee, which is always won by Indians. It's no longer an American activity or American award for American kids; it's merely another life and death contest in who has the best credentials. Another initially wholesome attempt to reward hard work turned into worthless inter-racial competition and virtue-signalling.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 15, 2017 4:01 PM  

@84, That was the rationale and the way they sold it to people (so the Catholics bailed and created their own schools), but the real reason was something else:

"The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone would be interdependent." -- John Dewey, philosopher and education reformer of late 1800s-mid 1900s

"Our schools have been scientifically designed to prevent over-education from happening. The average American [should be] content with their humble role in life..." -- William T. Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education in the late 1800s

It was really about building obedient, interchangeable little citizen cogs for the good of the state, and that hasn't changed since they started.

Unfortunately, at this point many private schools are no better. They pretty much follow the public school model with all its faults and the regulations that come as strings attached to various types of funding, and they tend to get their books and materials from the same sources. What Nate said: homeschool or die.

Blogger pyrrhus June 15, 2017 4:02 PM  

@86 Despite having won a grammar school spelling bee, I currently think that there is no bigger waste of academic time....It simply does not matter....Second biggest waste is foreign languages, unless you are going to live in the country in question for a significant period of time...

Blogger pyrrhus June 15, 2017 4:09 PM  

When my oldest was applying to a Big 10 school planning to major in math and physics, I talked to the admissions people. My kid has nuked the SATs, and all the AP tests, but had some C's from SJW teachers in humanities courses. The admissions people said they didn't care a hoot about his grades outside science and math, and admitted him 4 days later......I think the valedictorian stuff is greatly overrated, and matters little to major colleges, unless you are a privileged minority that they want to admit anyway.

Anonymous BBGKB June 15, 2017 4:13 PM  

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Sadly missing my ex, seriously moslems check out my web page for a list of gays who don't believe in guns

I deal with this nonsense at work. I hire people who want to be rewarded for showing up and doing a mediocre job

Be glad they don't want to get paid just for showing up late. When I first went to a place that offered staff $50 extra for showing up for each scheduled day and $2 a day for each day shown up on time I was taken back.

Blogger GoldRush Apple June 15, 2017 4:19 PM  

I'm a masters student in social work. There's one Latino guy who is against deportation of any illegal (he uses the word "undocumented") alien. A few months ago his brother was shot dead in his home city in which he started a gofundme page to help raise money for the funeral costs (hey, fair enough). Just last year he wrote an opinion piece telling students to support a bill that gives money to illegal aliens who are students. Excluding the gofundme, what do all of these have in common? Get the state to pay. Get the citizens to pay.

@ pyrrhus: Yea, Big 10 schools - or any public school, depending on what you're majoring, concentrate more on raw numbers.

Blogger Chris Lutz June 15, 2017 4:20 PM  

@86 I agree part of it is the Asian grind culture. Western education really used to be about spiritual, mental, and physical balance. Now it's simply grind out the tests.

You see the same thing at chess tournaments now, tons of Asian kids who spent inordinate amounts of time studying chess because it buffs the resume.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 15, 2017 4:26 PM  

Second biggest waste is foreign languages, unless you are going to live in the country in question for a significant period of time...

In the classical idea of education going back to the Greeks, you study a foreign language for the same reason you study algebra and geometry -- to train your brain. Schools didn't teach Latin and Greek up to 60 years ago so that students could travel to ancient Rome and Athens. Most students weren't going on to study literature in those languages either. They did it because the structure of those languages requires that you learn to think. Ditto with math: most people will never use algebra or geometry after school, but studying them trains your reasoning powers.

Homeschoolers are the ones bringing back classical education now.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky June 15, 2017 4:39 PM  

Cail Corishev wrote:In the classical idea of education going back to the Greeks, you study a foreign language for the same reason you study algebra and geometry -- to train your brain. Schools didn't teach Latin and Greek up to 60 years ago so that students could travel to ancient Rome and Athens. Most students weren't going on to study literature in those languages either. They did it because the structure of those languages requires that you learn to think. Ditto with math: most people will never use algebra or geometry after school, but studying them trains your reasoning powers.



This is true, and there's even more to it. Becoming acquainted with the classic literature is a profound experience in many unanticipated ways. Those ancient classics remain fundamental to Western civilization. We're not "evolved" people to whom Aristotle no longer applies, as so many high school so-called educators actually argue today!

I remember the shock of reading the Aeneid in Latin. Blew me away, totally, and I did not see that coming at all. A total overwhelming surprise. I had wondered why Dante held Vergil in such a special place before, but not afterwards. What a magical poem, and how perfectly tuned is each line and syllable. And yet I tell people who can't read Latin not to bother with it much. The magic doesn't translate. You need about nine years of Latin the way it's taught these days before you are in position for that surprise.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club June 15, 2017 4:41 PM  

@87 - That Willie Harris, he wasn't shy about what he wanted the world to be like:

"Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual."

Anonymous A Texan June 15, 2017 4:46 PM  

I would love to have a conversation with one of those overpaid dumba__ administrators with an educational doctorate and ask them that if k-12 does such a good job of education, why is it that even the top two who graduate highschool are still not qualified to teach any k-5 class right out of highschool? I would wager they have no real answer.

Publik skools are further becoming an expensive waste of society's resources.

Blogger Nick S June 15, 2017 4:52 PM  

Advanced apprenticeships in victimology are all the rage. I don't think the retirement plans are going to be all that lucrative though.

Blogger GoldRush Apple June 15, 2017 4:59 PM  

@ 78: Absolutely cringeworthy. Not what happened to those people, but your overall mentality.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky June 15, 2017 5:02 PM  

A Texan wrote:I would love to have a conversation with one of those overpaid dumba__ administrators with an educational doctorate and ask them that if k-12 does such a good job of education, why is it that even the top two who graduate highschool are still not qualified to teach any k-5 class right out of highschool? I would wager they have no real answer.

Publik skools are further becoming an expensive waste of society's resources.


There was a classical pianist named Balint Vazsonyi who used to tell this story. He grew up in a small village in Hungary in WWII. After the war, they had no schoolhouse or school books, for these had been blown up. They also had no teacher, because the Nazis led away the one they had and he was never seen again. All they had was shards of the shattered chalkboard and, sometimes, some chalk.

Parents took time making do and teaching the kids until they could build a new schoolhouse and hire a new teacher, but this took a long time.

Balint swore up and down that he received a superior education in those conditions than children receive in modern America. And I don't doubt him one bit.

Anonymous Azimus June 15, 2017 5:03 PM  

7. BluePony June 15, 2017 12:32 PM
Honestly, five years in >90% of what I was doing was based on things I learned on the job.


Remedial training costs this economy a fortune. In my plant we train someone off the street for 8-10 working days, costing both the L&OH of the trainer and L&OH of the trainee, about $4,000, before they can do a single, basic job in the factory - the kind of work my 10yr old son could do if I explained it to him for 30 minutes. In order to be a meaningful contribution to the production schedule we have to train them in 3-4 jobs, at a cost of probably $3,000 for each additional job. So we invest $13,000 in someone before they are contributing in a meaningful way on the factory floor. They work for about 2-3 months before the siren-song of an opiate bender calls them, they no-call, no-show for work a couple days, we terminate them via a letter to their last known address, and we start all over again. We train 50+ people a year in this way for a plant that employs about 40/shift - and we are mid-range for hourly pay and benefits for the area and don't use temps. So that's more than $600k/yr training people on the job that are A) completely useless when we get them (many illiterate), and B) can't stay off the sauce long enough to repay the company for their training investment. This is a HUGE drain on our profitability AND productivity AND quality, and there is no answer. I think we need to charge the school districts back for these losses.

Blogger GoldRush Apple June 15, 2017 5:05 PM  

@ 94: How did you learn Latin? I'm thinking of teaching myself.

Also, #93-94 quality comments.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 15, 2017 5:10 PM  

This is a HUGE drain on our profitability AND productivity AND quality, and there is no answer.
There is an answer. You're almost certainly refusing to consider it.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club June 15, 2017 5:11 PM  

@96 - They always have one answer: "Cuz we need more money!"

Expecting any accountability over the money they do receive, however, is a crime against kids.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky June 15, 2017 5:21 PM  

GoldRush Apple wrote:@ 94: How did you learn Latin? I'm thinking of teaching myself.



I learned it the old fashioned way, nine years of schooling. We used classic Latin textbooks such as Wheelock's Latin Grammar. It's a lot of effort, a lot of rote, Latin grammar is a huge topic.

Since that time, however, Hans Orberg developed an astonishing thing. It's a sort of "full immersion" program in Latin, and it truly is remarkable. You start with this one book which is written entirely in Latin. Nothing else. It's got a map of Europe on it, with Latin names for things, and starts talking about it, in Latin, in obvious and simple ways. And it builds upon this, never once using anything but Latin. You sort of bootstrap your way up into fluency.

It really is quite remarkable, and I wish that they had such a thing when I was I a kid. We had schoolmaster scenes that really hit home when you watch the "Romans go home!" graffiti scene in "The Life of Brain!" I also wish this method were adopted to other languages (there's been some effort, but not enough!).

It really is quite remarkable, I've handed this book out to people and they are totally amazed that, yes, in fairly short order, they are reading some Latin with no instruction at all.

The first book is called "Lingua Latina, Pars I per se illustrata". (The Latin Language through self-illustrations. Part I). And you'll be at about a 2nd year Latin level when you finish it (it won't take two years to finish it, either!)

https://www.amazon.com/Lingua-Latina-Illustrata-Pars-Familia/dp/1585104205

Blogger spacehabitats June 15, 2017 5:40 PM  

My medical school went to a system of announcing only the quartile ranking of the students by test scores just before I started in 1985. I suspected at the time that it was designed to obscure the fact that some of the students had parents who bought their admission into the school. Later I am sure it helped to at least partially hide the effects of affirmative action. I wouldn't have minded so much if it hadn't been for the fact that the school DID announce the student who graduated with the highest test score, and I am almost certain that I came in second.

Blogger tuberman June 15, 2017 5:44 PM  

104. a deplorable rubberducky

Thanks for the info on Latin, as I'm always looking for great information to use for mentoring. I use mathematics, chess, and logic books for mentoring, but I agree that Latin would be an amazing Reflective Learning (thinking about thinking) Tool.

Anonymous AzDesertRat June 15, 2017 5:53 PM  

GoldRush Apple wrote:@ 78: Absolutely cringeworthy. Not what happened to those people, but your overall mentality.



Why is that? (Genuine question)

I have plenty of other real world examples. A cousin of mine never managed above C's and D's in high school. His parents were also told he was likely retarded and would need special care for his entire life. Except all those "professional educators" were magnificently incorrect. He was bored out of his mind. Within two years of graduating high school (this in the early 90's) he and two friends had already started an IT company, grew it and sold it, and were building a 2nd IT company that specialized in building secure data infrastructure for electronic bank transfers. When they sold that company and split the profits he was a multi-millionaire at TWENTY-SIX. And this was a guy who the modern education system deemed deficient.
Here is my story: I graduated high school with a 2.78.
The biggest complaint my parents always heard at parent teacher conferences was that I never did the homework so even though I aced the tests the teachers "couldn't" give me A's and B's because I wasn't doing the public school system version of busy work. After graduation I spent some years in Uncle Sam's service and then decided to give college a shot. My undergraduate GPA was 3.89 and my STEM Masters Degree I 4.0'ed.
So yes, I stand by my original statement that "academic success" at the high school level means fuck all. Most kids could get a better education spending 8 hours a day in a public library than they could in a public school.


Anonymous Be Deplorable, Not Afraid June 15, 2017 5:53 PM  

What this is all about, is that the more prestigious colleges and universities, maybe the top third, have not grown in step with the population increase (not even taking into account the many kids who go to college without any good reason for it, while they wait for that coveted barista job). That means more people are vying for spots.

If you're not valedictorian or whatever, your chances of getting into your "dream school" are greatly diminished, because many schools could completely fill their admit quotas with valedictorians and legacies. So in response to market forces, high schools are adapting, finding ways to make more kids "special."

But confounding the demographics issue, grade inflation and preferred-student status (being somebody the teachers are terrified of grading down due to pressure from their administrators) made the grade distribution top-heavy. Now you have 20 kids at GPA of, e.g., 4.30-4.32. You can't meaningfully sort them. So you have to make them all special.

Note, I am not l lending my approval to any of this, just trying to explain it. I've got kids in the system, this is how it seems to work, whether I like it, or not.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 15, 2017 6:05 PM  

Except all those "professional educators" were magnificently incorrect. He was bored out of his mind.
I had a classmate named Dave. He was transferred in from Australia where he had already completed the content of every single class on offer at our high school. He hung out with the burnouts, skanks, punks, and and junkies, smoking dope. I never saw him at school and not high. He quit school the day the was 18 and could sign up for University. GPA, 1.5, based entirely on aceing the tests he bothered to show high up for.
One of the smartest guys I ever met.

Blogger tuberman June 15, 2017 6:09 PM  

BTW, It is possible to raise intelligence levels beyond genetic levels, but you need someone with a good attitude to pull it off. Even neural speed can be somewhat enhanced (this is the most difficult factor). Place a fairly fast thinking kid or young adult in with a number of smart, fast-neural speed people, and base IQ will go up by several points, and this will be mainly due to neural speed-up, and not directly due to experience or reflective thinking, as those two take longer to enhance.

Anonymous BBGKB June 15, 2017 6:14 PM  

I have not looked over at the education realist page for a while but there are plenty of redpills.
https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/catching-cheaters/

Second biggest waste is foreign languages, unless you are going to live in the country in question for a significant period of time

If no one learns a second language how will Mexicans access free taxpayer paid services?

Blogger Cecil Henry June 15, 2017 6:25 PM  

Funny thing though: in the real world, when you deal with other people, and provide services and trade--- you are going to expect and demand quality, accomplishment, value and excellence.

Yet none is expected here. The hypocrisy and blindness is staggering. Also the selfishness.

They are perfectly primed for socialism

Anonymous Millenium June 15, 2017 6:27 PM  

Had to see if all the millennials trashing boomers for not being able to take criticism could take their own medicine I guess...

Except millenials aren't to blame. Millenials are the students, not the teachers. The school staff are the ones who make these decisions and they are overwhelmingly Generation X.

Naturally Generation X will blame boomers and say it is all their idea thus showing once again that Generation X are spineless cowards who may bitch and moan but they will never lift a finger to do anything.

Blogger GoldRush Apple June 15, 2017 6:29 PM  

@107: Do you realize that what you're doing is confirmation bias? Your "'academic success' means fuck all" makes little sense given the context you set it in. It seems that you hold a grudge towards those that excel at academics at the high school level, and if they don't own a business and become millionaires you point and laugh.


If we want to get anecdotal the lowest scoring students at my high school aren't in med school nor do they own a business. They're mechanics, truck drivers and work as waiters. Nothing wrong or bad about those jobs, really. The highest scoring students are in med, law and pharmacy. Maybe one of the lowest scoring students will start a business and become a multi-millionaire. Maybe not. Maybe the guy in pharmacy will snort cocaine and get into a car crash killings two innocent bystanders walking, getting sued beyond belief. Maybe not.

So yea, stand by your story and statement all you want - doesn't make it an ounce true just because you said it. Face it: You're acting like an SJW because you felt like you were treated unfairly.

Hooy boy. The bitterness.

Blogger Joe A. June 15, 2017 6:30 PM  

Ugh. Even Tennessee is conceding to this...?

Blogger Cail Corishev June 15, 2017 6:31 PM  

How did you learn Latin?

I had four years of it in high school. I don't think we ever got through the First Year Latin book (Jenney's), though, so I'm no expert. Twenty years later, I dusted it off and started learning it again so I could teach it to some people at church who were interested.

The biggest problem with teaching/learning Latin now -- and the reason we went so slowly through that book -- is that most people don't know English grammar anymore. You have to know things like noun cases and verb tenses, because those determine the endings on Latin words. So learning Latin will force you to learn the English grammar that kids used to learn by 6th grade or so, but it'll be slow going, because you're really learning two languages at once.

That's the case with all the older Latin textbooks, anyway: they assumed you already knew grade school grammar. Maybe the program Rubberducky mentioned gets around that by coming at it a different way.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 15, 2017 6:36 PM  

It seems that you hold a grudge towards those that excel at academics at the high school level, and if they don't own a business and become millionaires you point and laugh.

How many gamma tells, boys and girls?

Blogger Quilp June 15, 2017 6:38 PM  

Right before we moved out of the area that school was going through a school mascot change. "Redskins" of course couldn't be allowed. "Legends" on the other hand, is fairly innocuous - unless of course your legend is a confederate general, but thats another town, same convergence. I'm still amazed at how quickly full convergence happens once it starts. But thanks to this site, I now know the signs.

Blogger roughcoat June 15, 2017 6:46 PM  

@ 114

"Face it: You're acting like an SJW because you felt like you were treated unfairly.

Hooy boy. The bitterness."

Wut?

You a HS teacher or something? Those are the people who usually overreact to someone else pointing out that HS is an overgrown daycare and a huge waste of time for many smart people, and that they're only getting worse.

Blogger GoldRush Apple June 15, 2017 6:50 PM  

@119: True, public high school is getting worse. And no, I'm not a high school teacher.

@117: Nice try.

Blogger tuberman June 15, 2017 6:52 PM  

107.

I hated school in grade school and high school, and often skipped to end up at the public library. Yet I had read over a hundred literature books by the 7th grade (including "Crime and Punishment" and most Fyodor Dostoyevsky's other books), and my reading level was high college graduate school level. Not one teacher bothered to even notice my abilities. I.DID.NOT.CARE. Learning was for me.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 15, 2017 7:01 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 15, 2017 7:04 PM  

GoldRush Apple wrote:Nice try.I count 4
{It seems} {you are angry} at {super smart people like me} because {your standards, which don't include me as a super smart secret king, are invalid}

High school is a huge waste of time for smart kids. High School actively, and intentionally, slows down learning. Do you ever wonder how people could find history boring?
Public School.

Anonymous andon June 15, 2017 7:38 PM  

107. Anonymous AzDesertRat June 15, 2017 5:53 PM
Most kids could get a better education spending 8 hours a day in a public library than they could in a public school.


have you been in a public library lately?

the one near me is basically a day care center for illegals and its also filled with other assorted trash

Blogger Wally Bangs June 15, 2017 7:45 PM  

It started in my hometown in Tennessee due to the threat of the lawsuit I mentioned earlier. It was either 1986 or 87. It has snowballed since into a landslide. I believe the school that had 48 was a magnet school. Go figure.

Blogger Pseudotsuga June 15, 2017 7:50 PM  

And then they can end up at a welcoming, diverse school with no majors and no grades.
Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington (home of the Geoducks and the permanent 420 cloud) waits with open, accepting, non-judgmental* arms for these special snowflakes!

*unless you are non-progressive, in which case they already know you're a racist hate-monger.

Blogger tuberman June 15, 2017 7:50 PM  

So, how does one get very smart today, including in practical terms. Well, preaching to the choir here, first it takes Truth. It's an attitude, and if someone abandons the Truth, for say, the Leftist Narrative, even someone with a 170+ IQ becomes stupid, almost immediately.

Blogger tuberman June 15, 2017 7:55 PM  

127. tuberman,

Second, Truth in isolation does not exist, as there is no objective Truth. Truth requires values, and Christian values seems best Right now.

Blogger GoldRush Apple June 15, 2017 8:09 PM  

@ 123: Not really.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 15, 2017 8:12 PM  

Pseudotsuga wrote:And then they can end up at a welcoming, diverse school with no majors and no grades.

Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington (home of the Geoducks and the permanent 420 cloud) waits with open, accepting, non-judgmental* arms for these special snowflakes!

I worked on the campus for about 6 months. Very special place. For those who don't know, Geoducks are a local species of clam. They are the mascot because, and I quote; "They look like a horse d*** and people eat them.". At the time I worked there, a survey by the sociology faculty found that 47% of the students self-identified as gay.

The place is a magnet for the gay, unwanted children of government functionaries up and down the West Coast. That's probably 20% of the student body. Located in the state capital, it churns out bureaucrats.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 15, 2017 8:12 PM  

Second, Truth in isolation does not exist, as there is no objective Truth. Truth requires values, and Christian values seems best Right now.
I was going to comment on this, and what do I see in the cut-and-paste?
script type="text/javascript">
VFM.decorateComments(
{ trolls: trolls })

Hi Matthew.

Anonymous Mr. Rational June 15, 2017 8:13 PM  

BluePony wrote:I'm an EE. I could easily see having received sufficient education to start this career before graduation high school if it had been available. All you need is a solid grounding in basic RF and digital concepts along with good hands on labs.
The ARRL used to publish electronic/radio study guides for ham licenses which amounted to a good basic grounding in EE theory.  A smart kid could know them all cold by age 14.

If you fast-tracked the math you could do calculus and physics in 10th grade and have 2/3 to 3/4 of the other EE stuff like control theory in the next 2 years.  A good magnet school program could graduate almost full-blown electrical engineers more ready for the real world than some that I've met.

Math is key, which seems to be why Common Core imposes all kinds of useless and confusing "strategies" to do simple arithmetic problems.  It is designed to cripple, not teach.

The authors and adopters of Common Core materials should be tried for treason, on top of several million counts of child abuse.

Blogger Vikki Wilson June 15, 2017 8:53 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Vikki Wilson June 15, 2017 8:54 PM  

For goodness sakes.
My niece goes to a "Catholic" school, primarily to avoid the behaviour problems and SJ ideology that the Teacher's Unions and the state instantiate.
Unfortunately, it's becoming obvious that this school has the same therapeutic, competition-denying ethos as the state.

They've just added a veneer of godiness inspired by WimpJesus.

Blogger ironhorse384 June 15, 2017 8:54 PM  

I'm sure there's no correlation between the level of education today and the behavior we've be witnessing in universities as of late.

Blogger Pseudotsuga June 15, 2017 9:22 PM  

I had a former student of mine (Freshman college English composition) from about a decade ago go on to college. He seemed like a decent enough guy, but he is now a product of an Education degree (strike one) and a Psychology MA (strike two)...
I only keep him on Facebook to keep tabs on what the modern young Leftists are blathering about today.
The Trumphate is strong with this one. He thinks he is educated, yet he doesn't realize that indoctrination (which is what he got with those degrees) is not the same thing.

Blogger Unknown June 15, 2017 9:47 PM  

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Blogger Vikki Wilson June 15, 2017 10:02 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Vikki Wilson June 15, 2017 10:09 PM  

A couple of years ago at a University meeting to review grades we had a Lecturer in "Contemporary First Nations Music" (identipolitics rap with Native implements)give EVERY SINGLE STUDENT an "A". She protested that they were all "Brilliant".
She was given a gentle almost-warning but not required to grade again

Anonymous AzDesertRat June 16, 2017 12:15 AM  

GoldRush Apple wrote:@107: Face it: You're acting like an SJW because you felt like you were treated unfairly.

Hooy boy. The bitterness.



LOL. Hardly.
But I did find your reaction interesting. It is the same way my SJW sister-in-law, who has been in public education for 15+ years, reacts when people trash on the public education system.
How dare the plebes who didn't jump through all your hoops and seek your approval be successful, eh?

Anonymous Eric the Red June 16, 2017 1:13 AM  

Lots of useless anecdotes being posted here.

But the bottom line is a vicious cycle: since schools are crap, their rankings and ratings are crap. And of course a virtuous cycle would be that if schools were actually educating students well with real knowledge, a ranking of their graduates would be meaningful and predictive.

Anonymous JAG June 16, 2017 2:27 AM  

At my school there wasn't anything higher than 4.0 GPA. The tiebreaker was how high you made it in Math, English, and Science. All other things being equal, the 4.0 kid who passed Calc 2 won out over the 4.o kid that topped out at Calc 1.

Anonymous JAG June 16, 2017 2:36 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote: It seems that you hold a grudge towards those that excel at academics at the high school level, and if they don't own a business and become millionaires you point and laugh.

How many gamma tells, boys and girls?


The second word in their post gave the game away without having to read further.

The poster then beat the living crap out of a straw man.

Diagnosis: would love to play poker against a person with such obvious tells. Gammas are horrible poker players.

Blogger Shimshon June 16, 2017 5:13 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Mr. Rational June 16, 2017 12:35 PM  

AzDesertRat wrote:Most kids could get a better education spending 8 hours a day in a public library than they could in a public school.
Truer words, etc. etc.

I was repeatedly frustrated by wanting to know more and not having any route to dig it up (pre-AltaVista).  One example I remember clearly was in (private school) jr. high earth-science class.  It talked about the temperature lapse rate of the atmosphere.  Such books have no footnotes and no references; if you want more on any given subject, you have to start from scratch at a library.  My school's library was small and probably didn't have those reference works, so I'm glad I didn't frustrate myself trying there.

In intro thermodynamics, the ideal gas law equation Pv^γ = C explained it all.  The reference librarian at the public library probably could have gotten that for me in 5 minutes.

Blogger Duke Norfolk June 17, 2017 8:26 AM  

Conor Foran wrote:It's simple devaluation.

Indeed. They've inflated away any real meaning for grades, and corrupted schooling from K-Univ so badly that it's just about all meaningless by now.

It's all symptomatic of our thoroughly corrupted society. Which can't be reformed in any meaningfully way at this point; other than to burn it down and start from scratch. Which will happen eventually.

Blogger Duke Norfolk June 17, 2017 8:44 AM  

Cail Corishev wrote:In the classical idea of education going back to the Greeks, you study a foreign language for the same reason you study algebra and geometry -- to train your brain.

Yes. I've been somewhat disappointed at the overly pragmatic approach to education that's been espoused by some pretty smart people. The sneering at the classical liberal arts education in favor of a trimmed down hard science only approach.

Of course much of that is understandable in light of the absolute destruction and corruption of the humanities by the left over the last 50 years or so. But we need to rediscover the value of that approach and not throw the baby out with the bath water.

The flip side to that is that this kind of education isn't appropriate for everyone; not by a long stretch. It really should be a rather elitist thing for those who can handle it, appreciate it, and use it to become society's thinkers. So for most people it just doesn't make sense. For them the trades, or a technical approach is best, at a post elementary level.

Indeed the homeschooling movement is where this renaissance is starting.

Anonymous Crew June 17, 2017 9:36 AM  

The backlash, when it comes, is going to be awesome ...

Blogger Bobo Bell June 17, 2017 11:41 AM  

We do it by Common Core math these days, add points for diversity, subtract points for privilege, being in touch with your feminine or masculine side can add, your political stance can effect it as well so lie about being pro Castro for gain, wear a skirt occasionally (burka counts for more) and engage in deviant sex acts (your choice so long as it's nice and bizarre) and, of course, have a criminal rap sheet. That will assure you're number 1 even if you are dumb as a fence post.

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