Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll ponders ALTERNATIVES TO LEARNING. She writes:

Year after year here in our Dusty Little Village (DLV), the education establishment puts an initiative on the ballot to increase property taxes for schools. For eight years and counting, it has failed. It will fail again.

Most of us Geezer-Americans have scant interest in donating even more to educate half of Mexico or to fund all the Diversity Drones and special programs whose gentle ministrations crank out the annual crop of psychotic ninnies infesting our colleges.

Year after year the local educators and some well-meaning parents cry about “class size” which they obviously believe is their strongest argument, though facts about class size are hard to find. Anyway, this does not impress us Baby Boomers because we rarely had fewer than 36-40 kids in a classroom. Our parents and grandparents went to one-room schoolhouses containing every grade, and had to do backbreaking farm chores before and after school. Yet we and they still managed to learn enough to earn a living for 40-50 years.

Have you ever seen those 8th grade tests of yore on the Internet? I can’t pass ’em, that’s for sure. At least not without refresher courses and studying up.

Let’s look at just one special program we funded in Minnesota.

Back in the day, when we were raising foster kids, one of them was sent to what the educational system called the Alternative Learning Center. In the bureaucracy’s desire to expand the number of dues-paying members and, tangentially, give second (fine), third (okay), and twenty-fifth (way too many) chances to lazy, disruptive, incorrigible students, this program was born. It should have been called The Alternative to Learning Center.

It demanded close to nothing from the students placed there. Basically, It required showing up. And many the student could not manage that. The other students called the ALC “A**holes’ Last Chance.” Kids can be brutally insensitive. (Call the cops!) Also accurate.

Anyway, the ALC contained a few pregnant girls plus plenty of “baby daddies” and other assorted miscreants. I honestly forget why our foster son was temporarily sent there. When you deal on a daily basis with drugs, gangs, and endless acting out, it’s hard to keep track. But I do recall that he told me that in his ALC class they did not do homework, did not take tests, or learn anything. Plus, the “teacher” – who was “really cool, man” – was smoking weed with his little charges. Well, then. What could be cooler than that?

In a Herculean collaboration between genuinely heroic, sainted teachers, helpful fellow student tutors (all white and racist in their DNA according to Obama, despite his own polluted DNA), and, okay, his foster parents, our Black/Hispanic foster son did actually receive a high school diploma.

He was functionally illiterate in both his native Spanish and English, knew absolutely nothing about Civics, Science or History, and could neither add nor subtract, to say nothing of mastering algebra. Yet he graduated. Wrap your mind around that. What that made us realize was just how hard the 50 percent or more of students who FAIL to graduate at inner city high schools have to be trying in order to avoid meeting the most pathetic standards.

But that is YOUR fault, dear readers. Definitely not the individual lazy, hostile student. Nor the indifferent, negligent or distracted parent(s). But you, the taxpayers of the districts. Most particularly white people. And you will pay dearly when the “disparate impact” lawsuits are settled. There is an embarrassing, apparently-intractable gap between the performance of white and Asian students and students “of color.” Those lawsuits charge not that the students and their parents have failed, but that the “system” has failed the students. But, of course.

Education is supposed to be a spoonfed automatic delivery system in which the most uncooperative student has the absolute right to have the same outcome as that Chinese violinist who spends four hours a night practicing. (Or the Jewish math whiz, the Vietnamese spelling champ, or the pale-faced Norwegian debater who study from the time he gets home to the time he goes to bed.) All tests that measure either aptitude or achievement are racist on the face of them and unfair. Everyone is entitled to a free diploma and then free community “college” to pretend to learn what should have been learned in middle school.

The Dr. Ben Carsons, the Dr. Thomas Sowells, the Condi Rices and even motivated recent African immigrants are resented at least as much as white people because they give the lie to the notion that somehow the “system” is gamed for only white kids to achieve. These individuals and thousands of other high-achieving blacks and Hispanics prove that all they have to do is exert similar effort to achieve similar results. Good God, that will never do.

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