Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Life Sorta

I’m sure the Prof. squared had no idea they were unleashing a mid-life crisis when they thoughtfully arranged the purchase of a convertible for me. I’m positive their intention was only to make my life a little easier and less dependant on the availability (and operability!) of our other two vehicles. Maybe its spring fever, maybe it’s truly that last rush of youthful wildness marking the onset of a permanent slowing down. I don’t know, for today, I don’t care. I want only to roll down the windows, put the top down and speed along the road (seat belt and cruise control firmly engaged) with the wind in my hair and the radio blasting away (strictly top 40, none of that rap or hip hop nonsense). In rereading this, definitely spring fever, mid-life would surely let me be a little less law abiding and buttoned up.

I caught just part of the Bill and Melinda Gate’s interview regarding the sad state of our current public school system. Twenty years ago American students were among the best in the world, today we are in 24th place in Math, behind countries like Poland, Canada, Germany, France, and Slovakia. Schools that are falling down around the ears of the students, schools that don’t have books, schools with curriculum behind the times. Having raised five kids, I agree with Mr. Gates, there are serious problems with our public school system. The campus in my little town is beautiful, inside and outside. Schools in the whole county look alright, but our kids are failing. Despite finishing high school in the top of their class, our county’s kids are struggling to cut it in College. They lack the blocks necessary for the base upon which their college studies will build. I know many of our teachers, and I have the Prof. squared. I know it isn’t a matter of unmotivated or uncaring teachers. It’s the ridiculousness of proficiency testing. Teachers teaching a test, and what happens to all the material between the test questions?

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