[TriLUG] future of Wake schools
matt at noway2.thruhere.net
matt at noway2.thruhere.net
Fri Oct 14 09:38:31 EDT 2011
> Ok, while admittedly off topic, I have to +1 Pete here by not pushing a
> specific agenda, and encouraging people to evaluate the facts for
> themselves, and make informed decisions....
> Matt P.
This subject may be off the topic of Linux, but it is not off the topic of
community, which is also what Trilug is about.
Without telling anyone what to choose here, I don't see why we should
avoid discussing and analyzing the issue objectively. Failing to do so,
especially out of PC fear is allowing a special interest party to
intimidate you, which is just as bad if not worse. Certainly this issue
must have been discussed and debated by the school board and if they can
discuss it why shouldn't we be able to also? For that matter, this issue
affects not only Wake county but other school districts in the state as
well as effecting Wake county in terms of residents both current and
As I understand it, the big contention is whether or not school attendance
and districts should be based upon your physical address. Specifically,
that schools should not be mixed to artificially create diversity of race
or socioeconomic status. Is this correct or is there more to the issue?
Until I moved to NC, about 10 years ago, neighborhood schools were the
norm. In fact, one often times chose what community that lived in based
upon the quality and reputation of the school. Indeed, this is the sole
reason I purchased my first home in the city that I did while I could have
gotten a lot more house for less, elsewhere. When I moved here, it
floored me to discover that it didn't really matter what neighborhood you
chose because while there was a default, where you wound up would be
chosen via lottery or other mechanism du jour.
So, with that, let us ask what have been the effects of artificial
diversity? Has it achieved the benefits it was purported to?
One only has to look at the news to see that as a nation, the United
States is facing a serious crisis. In my not so humble opinion, one of
the major reasons for this crisis is that for the last 25 years there has
been a lack of focus on education compared to other nations. Along with
that lack of education is a societal norm towards disinterest in education
as a responsibility. For anyone interested in technology, it is even
worse. Who hasn't heard the terms Geek, and worse? Hell, in most schools
in this nation including colleges, athletics, which is usually dominated
by the worst students, takes carte blanche priority over academics. What
is wrong with this picture? This is why nations like India and China are
rapidly becoming the world leaders in certain industries. This is why
companies are doing well with near record profits while for most of the
citizens we have been in a long and sever depression facing a 10% loss of
earning power and 30% loss of our net worth. We are losing or have lost
our competitive edge.
I think it is also apparent that the doctrine in the US has been towards
the lowest common denominator in schools a-la No child Left behind / No
child Gets Ahead. Are artificially diverse schools not just an extension
of this? The effort has clearly been on trying to get those who can't or
won't achieve up to some minimal standard. At the same time, we have done
away with any sort of vocational education and are now realizing that as
our living standards are declining and we are returning to a manufacturing
based economy that these are some of the skills in demand. College has
become out of site for many, yet we continue to push a one size fits all
college bound program; one that fails to prepare the students to excel
because it is focused on bringing up the bottom.
So again, I ask, what have been the benefits and costs associated with the
current practices? If you ask me, as a whole we should be focusing on
propelling those who can and will exceed regardless of wealth (or lack of)
that they are born into. For these individuals, no expense should be
spared and the opportunity should be made available. For the others,
well, there are plenty of shovels. Now only if there were more shovel
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