Thursday, July 12, 2007


Someone seems to be getting screwed here.
At first I thought it was the teacher and principal. Then I thought it was the citizens of Albuquerque. Then I thought it might be other School Board members.
Now, it's entirely possible that all of the above were victims.
But the truly hard hit victims are the uneducated students sent out in the world without a real high school education. But with a diploma.
Just before graduation time, it seems that a former Albuquerque Public Schools board member, Miguel Acosta, and/or his wife, contacted Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Everitt. They had found out that their son was not to be graduated because he hadn't completed his required English course. Ms. Everitt contacted the teacher and the principal. Apparently she let them know that they would, indeed, give the boy a D, not an F (parenthetically, I thought a "D" was a failing grade). Both the teacher and the principal said no, the kid failed. They would not change his grade. So the school board member had a resolution (or whatever) passed and the kid got his "D" and received his diploma.
There are a lot of parents, whose kids had failed courses and had not received their diplomas with their friends, who are mighty upset about what they see as favoritism. And they are, of course, right.
Well, The Albuquerque Journal published an article about it. Wow. There was outrage throughout the school district and the State Epartment of Education reviewed the event. (Should have said "is reviewing".)
This in-fighting goes on and on, but no one involved seems to see who the real losers are.
In my day (when the Red Sea was still in one piece) if you failed to get the required credits, you did not graduate.
As I see it, the losers are the children of Albuquerque. Being sent out into a wild wooly America without even a proper high school education condemns one into menial, low paying and disliked jobs. These kids will fail, whether their parents can afford to send them to university or not. Without a solid grounding in the basics the work load will overwhelm them. There will always being a few anecdotes about an individual here or there (Bill Gates comes to mind), but overall they will become more of the disenchanted, more of the dissatisfied, more of those who see crime as a solution to their problems.


alphonsedamoose said...

Cat: you are so right on his one. It is the dumbing down of our societies. It is just as bad in some places up here

Lin said...

Cat, at least an unearned diploma will get them in and out of their first job real quick. Beyond that, a career in politics is always an option to overt crime.

just me said...

Some of the school districts I have lived in, and through, have kept kids in the same grade until they were old enough to vote. Like the sixth grade. And you can't change the rules for one kid and not all of them. Does the school board have no common sense?

It amazes me the number of kids who are graduating, from college even, who have not read some of the classic novels that we read in jr. high. That can't write a basic sentence. It's freaking scary.

And, I don't see kids in private schools fairing any better. It is a disgrace. Wonder if we could bus our kids to Japan?

Catmoves said...

You're right just me. We now have this Federal Aid to schools thingee.
It's a trap and gives the Feds complete control over our school systems if we want to keep getting the money to fatten up the administration and school boards staffs.
It means that someone sitting in Washington D.C., who only visits places like New York and posh resorts, now has the power to tell people living in the Wild West and on farms and in rural places what their kids will be taught.
Apparently, I have learned, it's not just this one kid. Every graduation time parents make appeals to principals and teachers to pass their kids so they can graduate. The worst part is that many of these requests are honored.
Well, I could have recommended the Australian schools in the '70's. But I don't know whether they have succumbed to their gov yet.

Catmoves said...

moose, I suspect it is because of the closeness and friendship of our countries, BB (Before Bush) that keeps all of us in this quagmire. Fight the education bull all you can.

Catmoves said...

Lin, I can always rely on you to ease the tension. I probably shouldn't say this but I think Everett Dirkson, or maybe William Proxmire, were the last pols whom I thought were totally honest people.
There's a Mayor in Rio Rancho, N.M., who was caught using the city credit card for personal use. He is still refusing to resign. I think your comment hit the nail.

alphonsedamoose said...

Cat: I am a former teacher and the problem really started when the psychologists said failing a student was bad for their self-esteem and the school boards and parents bought into it.
To really see how bad it is , have you ever seen the show " Are you smarter than a fifth grader". Nobody has won yet.SAD

david mcmahon said...

I'm with you - and what a great choice of photo!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

How big are the class sizes? We're all losers in the end, providing a basic education to EVERYONE is critical, if we are to have any hope of keeping our society safe and equitable. The "them and us" mentality just aint' gonna' hack it forever - something will eventually explode, and I'm not looking forward to the fallout..

Cuckoo said...

Hi Cat,
First, the picture goes well with the post.

Some states of India also faces the same problem. If not by straight methods, the people around (including students) try to 'earn' their degrees thru many other means And as Lin, says politics is the way !

Catmoves said...

moose, sorry to hear that. I was kinda hoping Canada might be a hold out bastion against this kind of thing. Darn.

Catmoves said...

I can always depend on lin to make me laugh. Thank you.

Catmoves said...

Just me, an anecdote for you: At one time, my daughter was a Customer Service Manager at a huge chain of stores. One day the power went out and the electronic cash registers wouldn't work. She had to go from cashier to cashier to make change for the customers. It was beyond the math skills of the majority of the cashiers. And they were all high school grads.
School board members here are usually professional people: lawyers, doctors, successful business people. Maybe they're part of a conspiracy?
I've heard of Japanese kids committing suicide because they couldn't keep their GPA where they wanted it.

Catmoves said...

moose, Ahem. One of my degrees is in Psych. (That's abnormal psych. Which seems kind of normal today.) I know first hand the crap they get up to. Dr. Spock was listened to. Forty years later he admitted he had made an error in his books.
I've tuned into that TV show twice (I'm a fan of the host), but the contestants were bad enough to make me go back to watching Jeopardy.