Stupid Adult Tricks

Education is filled with stupid adult tricks that come from changing of the tides, changing of the guards, short-sighted planning, flawed logic, and even plain ignorance.

My new favorite one is having adults figure out why kids who “pass” a CST got Fs in class.  Really?  We’re really going to contemplate this, like spend precious time on it.  My first thought is, “Did you ask the kid WHY he/she got a poor grade in class?”  However, I don’t state the obvious because I’m just going to muddy the works.  Logic isn’t part of the process, so why bother.

Nope, we’re going to work on how can we change education so this doesn’t happen.  This is, don’t you know, a grading problem.  Not a kid problem.  Not a motivation problem.  Not a testing issue.  Nope, a grading issue.  We just didn’t give the kid the right grade because if the kid can pass the CST they can pass class as well.  Yes… if can means ability.

Sigh.  You see, now teachers are under attack for grading things that have NOTHING to do with curriculum — homework, classroom practice, participation, projects.  Apparently we should just see if the kid understands the concept.  If so, why are we forcing the child to more work?  Why should they have to repeat the same things over and over again?

Again, are you clucking crazy? When in life are you NOT doing the same thing over and over again?  Do you wake up daily?  Take showers? Drink coffee?  Do you go to the same job where you perform pretty much the same tasks?  If the answer is “yes”, well then that’s why.  I AM preparing your child for his or her place in the workforce.  You know, that place you hope your child discovers so you don’t have to feed, house or clothe him or her forever.

This doesn’t even get into the fact that many of the factors for which students are graded are the very soft skills that companies want their employees to have, and in fact, use to evaluate their workers.  Fact is, if I’m telling you your child has issues with attendance, nine times out of ten that child is going to have issues with attendance as an employee.  Instead schools (and, more specifically) teachers are being berated for even expecting students to engage in their learning, show up on time, complete all given assignments regardless of prior learning, and working collaboratively with others.  If these are important skills, then why can’t we evaluate them as well?  Perhaps this is why your “smart” child failed?

The new idea is that we just grade them for what they understand in school and nothing else.  Yet life, is not about ONE THING ONLY.  Essentially, if they can get proficient or advanced on a CST, why aren’t they earning As.  Well, because EARNING is not the same as GETTING.  Just the same as KNOWING isn’t the same as PRODUCING.

Long diatribe short and here’s your TAKE AWAY message: No company will employ a “genius” who doesn’t have soft skills and who doesn’t actually complete any work.  I don’t care how smart you are, you’re still expected to do something.  Daily. Repeatedly.  Long after the thrill of living is gone.

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