# What's wrong with America's high schools?

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#### dixontj93060

##### Well-Known Member

Work ethic in the U.S. is gone.

Entitlement rules.

#### RocketT.Coyote

##### Well-Known Member
It's a "Head 'Em Up & Move 'Em Out" approach in public education these days. Also, the new-new math...

#### TALON

##### Well-Known Member
There are so many bogus links/redirects with nypost.com, my spam filter won't let me open it.
Google New York City Rubber Rooms.

#### H_Rocket

##### Death by Powerpoint
Despite the billions of dollars being spent our students are arriving at college totally unprepared. Why?
A few reasons

1) Parents do not take ownership of raising their children. They expect the school system to impart a sense of achievement and discipline that should be already in place when the youngster enters the school.

2) Children are not allowed to fail. It might hurt their self esteem. A few years back my neighbor a teacher told me how they were instructed to no longer use red pens to grade lessons. It seemed that red can cause stress and results in an adverse effect on a child's self esteem. I remember it well as that same day I made a hell of an error at work and got hauled into the Associate CIO's office. A half hour later I was certain of two things. First, I had screwed up, and second - he did not give a damn about my self esteem.

3) Children are not allowed to be children and mature normally. Today's youngsters have every moment programmed and planned for them. They do not know how to make use of what is offered in school. I actually had a young man say to me "I knew there was a problem, and I would have taken the initiative to solve it - if only someone asked me to." This mindset inevitably leads to teachers becoming frustrated and when buried in a morass of well meaning but useless regulations, they often just do enough to make do.

Today's parents have created a generation of coddled, self indulgent, brittle primadonnas that compensate by competing in everything and not having the opportunity to fail at anything.

Like anything in government there is waste, always will be. However, until we as a society step up and see to the development of our young people they will continue to perform at the level that allows them to get by.

Yes,there are exceptions. I simply believe we are letting our young folks down by not teaching them to excel while exposing them to the consequences of not doing your best.

I also believe we put way too much emphasis on a college education. We place too much merit to getting a degree and finding some office job. We should return to a time when we also developed a well-paid skilled blue collar workforce.

#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
These are not new problems. When I graduated from a typical public HS 40 years ago and went to engineering school, I found out right there and then how unprepared I was... and I was a "straight A" student. Yes, school is what you make of it, but it's also what's offered too. My sons' high schools had WAY more college-prep quality classes than I did, and AP classes too (which did not exist when I was in HS). Despite all the noise that you hear about how crappy the schools are, they are going in the right direction, and the number (and prevalence) of STEM classes bodes well for the tech industry in the future.

#### JRobinsonUSAF

##### Active Member
What Al said. No accountability either academically or socially, no parental involvement, a sense of entitlement, and a system that does not engender any amount of a appreciation for achievement. Not to mention it being a test tube for all kinds of social experimentation and curriculum.

JR

#### AlfaBrewer

##### Well-Known Member
Kids only get out of education (and childhood) what their parents expect of them. I don't blame the schools, I blame the parents for abdicating their responsibility to raise their kids to be productive, responsible, knowledgeable citizens.

#### dr wogz

##### Fly caster
I remember when one parent stayed home to welcome their kids.. and that 'going to daycare' was rarity. Today, I see both parents working 9-5 (not including the hour commute each way) and the kid is in day care, the school, than back to daycare, only to get a few hours 'parent time' at night, while doing homework or TV..

it's also way to easy to have kids.. producing them.. raising them is the issue, and what not everyone is prepared for..

#### thobin

##### Well-Known Member
I work in a high school it can be boiled down to 3 things, government meddling, little to no parental involvement and last but not least no student accountability.

TA

#### ActingLikeAKid

##### Well-Known Member

Kids today are taught facts and formulae, they are taught to read something quickly and be able to spout back facts about it. But there's not enough teaching of analysis and logic. There's not enough teaching of critical thought. Because ... I guess "critical thinking" doesn't fit neatly on the standardized tests? I get frustrated when I see SO MANY articles reposted (on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc) that say "X causes Y", when all that's been observed is "X and Y appear to be correlated". I see it in left-leaning articles and right-leaning articles, this trope of "Look! This thing happened (or people did this thing) and now this (good or terrible) thing is happening!" Without getting into partisan examples (because I REALLY don't want to light THAT fire), this is why I loathe articles that say "Eating fresh grapes will prevent cancer!" when what actually happened was researchers found that populations of people who ate lots of fresh grapes appeared to have a statistically significantly lower incidence of one kind of cancer. The example I always give: Ice cream causes sunburns. During the months of July and August, ice cream sales spike. These sales are followed by a huge increase in ER admissions for sunburn. Therefore ICE CREAM CAUSES SUNBURN!

Now if you'll excuse me, this grumpy old man needs to go kick some whippersnappers off his lawn.

Just kidding. Gotta go see the doc about my knee.

Jeez, I AM getting old.

Edit 1: Just a case of runner's knee. Ice and rest and strengthening.
Edit 2: Literally seconds after I posted this, I saw a link someone had shared on Facebook: "If your ex does this after you break up, he may be a psychopath, according to science"

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#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
Damn, and I really like ice cream too...

#### CZ Brat

##### Well-Known Member
When people read the article above, they are upset that the lowest kids are falling lower and the gap between the top and the bottom is increasing. So they yell at government to fix this. So government creates new rules, bureaucracy, and lots more testing. Though this specific report doesn't say it, high performers generally have higher household incomes and lower performers generally have lower household incomes. But what people talk about less, is that in general, high performing students have high performing parents and low performing students generally have low performing parents. And when I say "high performing parent" or "low performing parent", I don't mean the parent's income or career (though there is often a link). I mean what caliber of parent they are. Or in other words, are they a good parent or a bad parent.

The report shows that Asian students out perform all other groups. They are sometimes called "The minority that isn't", because as a whole, they climb the education/economic ladder faster than any group, including whites. I believe this is due to their culture of parenting. They set high standards, demand large amount of time to be spent on school work or other educational activities, and they give the child the support they need by tutoring them.

#### blackwing94

##### Well-Known Member
All three of my daughters went through public schools and then college. One is a physicist. One is an accountant. The youngest is in the 4th yr of medical school. My wife and I took an active role in their education (and their lives). Some kids from the same public schools dropped out. In my experience, the public schools work. It's the parents that are hit or miss. I used to volunteer at the schools and it was always sad to see bright kids pulled down by their home life.

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Global Mod
They were talking about this 40 years ago. I graduated in 1986 and found college to be easy. I was very well prepared by an underfunded high school in West Virginia. It is all about work ethic and supportive parents. Money is not the issue.

School systems today give participation grades. We need to get back to the harsh reality that not everyone is worthy of a blue ribbon or an "A" grade.

#### John Beans

##### Founder, Jolly Logic
TRF Supporter
Ooh, I'll join the rant.

I'm not sure schools are *that* much worse, or kids are that much lazier. I mean, they are, but not that much.

What's the right percentage that *should be* prepared for college? We could discuss what percentage makes sense, but it's nowhere near 100%...

With the price inflation in tuition that's occurred, college has become an awful deal for folks who don't need it in their careers. Studying History for four years before you become a plumber makes no financial sense. And most jobs are stuff like plumbers (and many other service-type jobs).

Many young folks (and their parents) have been done a disservice by being told that college was always a good idea. Many kids just aren't very good students (for whatever reason). And of course the idea that with better parenting all of our children could be scientists and engineers isn't realistic.

This report said 37% were ready. I would have said that maybe 40% would be the top end of how many people would be better off *financially* going to college. There are other reasons to go of course, so let's call it 50%, which it was until about 1980. But then it started rising quickly, and the actual high point came in 2009, when the percentage of high-schoolers going on to college topped 70%. Now it's declining; I would say, "back towards a more natural level."

The parallels with home ownership are interesting. Tell people it's a universal good thing and encourage them to take cheap loans to do it, and what happens?

#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
I agree with John. Back in the day, high school was life-preparation, not an academic mill. If you were so inclined academically, you would go on to college, if not then you'd get a job, learn a trade, and become a productive member of society that way. There's a push to make 2-year colleges/trade schools free in CA... I think that's a great idea. Spend two years learning how to do something and get a decent job, instead of what a lot of kids do nowadays: flounder through college for a few years while flinging burgers, then when they get out (or get bored/frustrated and drop out) they don't have anything to show for it.

#### John Beans

##### Founder, Jolly Logic
TRF Supporter
Seriously. Contrast a happy plumber showing up at your house who makes $100K, trying to work around the disenchanted 20-something living in your basement with an Art History degree and$80K in debt.

#### CzTeacherMan

##### Well-Known Member
I work in a high school it can be boiled down to 3 things, government meddling, little to no parental involvement and last but not least no student accountability.

TA
+1.

#### kcobbva

If you've not seen "Waiting for Superman" I recommend checking it out.

#### Bat-mite

##### Rocketeer in MD
My wife was a public school teacher for awhile. She quit to homeschool our kids. Best decision we ever made.

#### tmacklin

##### Well-Known Member
When I had a seat on my local school board I once brought up the subject of merit pay for teachers. That went over like the proverbial turd in the punch bowl and has never again been brought up again in the 22 years since I was defeated. Mercifully, the voters did not punish me further. Whew! :duck:

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#### hball55

##### Well-Known Member
The real reason for college unpreparedness is hip hop music :wink: Just like rock and roll before it. :lol:

#### RocketFeller

##### Well-Known Member
The path that takes you straight from high school to college to unemployment is unfortunately too common. I went into plumbing after high school and worked for five years before going back to get my bachelor's degree and master's. The number of kids (I wasn't that much older, but they sure seemed like kids) that ditched glass, didn't pay attention, or couldn't be bothered to join class discussions was astounding. My view at the time was "I'm paying a whole lot of money for this, I had better succeed".

It doesn't work for everyone, but I would highly suggest getting into a trade, or at least working full time before going to college/university. Guaranteed it will make you appreciate the value of a good education.

#### Charles_McG

##### Ciderwright
Certain aspects of my boy's high school make my teeth hurt. Homework policies, a confusing curriculum track structure that de-emphasizes college, a general feeling that a 'B' is good enough. A stark contrast to the tightly run, high expectation elementary school. (Both public)

But they did not stand in the way when a parent brought them an extracurricular aviation program. They even built a new space for workshop and classroom. And just over a year later they have grads who built an RV12 and are on their way to Private Pilot.

#### John Beans

##### Founder, Jolly Logic
TRF Supporter
When I had a seat on my local school board I once brought up the subject of merit pay for teachers. That went over like the proverbial turd in the punch bowl and has never again been brought up again in the 22 years since I was defeated. Mercifully, the voters did not punish me further. Whew! :duck:
We've seen similar reactions here in California (both private and public). We got so tired of the bureaucracy and "fairness" (no bonuses unless everyone's was the same) that we have taken into our own hands to do end-runs around attitudes like that. A group I'm a part of goes to the best teachers at the first open house every year and says, "What do you need?" Sometimes it's cash. Often, not.

For instance, the best Biology teacher at our high school (an ex industry researcher, very sharp, really challenged the kids) could never get what she needed for advanced experiments because of the way the high school did classroom expenses. Tons of paperwork, most stuff turned down, and a disproportionate amount of funds diverted to sports, because "That's more popular with everyone." Well, no, not everyone... We established a commercial account at one of the biological supply houses, and we ordered her everything that she needed. Before, she could hardly get enough reagent to do basic experiments; we got equipment and supplies so that they could run genetic analyses.

I say, don't wait for someone to fix your schools. Figure out which teachers care and are motivated and go to them and say, "What do you need?"