Saturday, September 07, 2002

New Ageites

Kimberly over at Number 2 Pencil shares a parent's reaction to her son's middle school experience:

While my son is graced with several dedicated teachers, New Ageites abound. His geography teacher pledges to teach him to "think outside the box." Dear woman, the purpose of geography is to teach the box, or at least a flat surface map. Geography once meant learning of cities, rivers and countries blessed with bauxite. Instead, my son will learn Socratic latitude and longitude, environmentalism, and AIDS.

Our socioeconomic location breeds quite a cross-section at the junior high. Students in my son's elective computer course struggle to read aloud, stumbling over words. "Metal" was eventually pronounced "Ma -TALL." Hail, whole languageites!...Evidence of deportment lingers on the campus via thousands of black spots on the walkways where the cherubs have spat their Juicy Fruit. Student attitude is comparable to that of pink-slipped adults: angry and not planning on working any time soon.

The spoon-feeding program includes a mandatory 25-minute class in which, get this, students must read. I quote from one of the many advisors, reading coordinators, counselors, shrinks, or media specialists who spout talking points, "We find that students just don't read or study at home. Reading gets test scores up; so it's required at school." There is also a reading class that was once only for remedial readers. Now everyone suffers through a bureaucratic nightmare of a program that dictates which books they can read. It took me a week to find someone who could approve To Kill a Mockingbird.

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