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Monday, June 02, 2008

The Value of Education

Recently, I have been having many conversations about the chances we give students to graduate on time. As of last count students are given more offers to get credit than come screaming through the mail slot in my front door. Our district has an alternative program, a GED options program in which they can take the test and still get a diploma, a program for students on long term suspension to earn core credits while they are out, credit recovery for students that earned at least a 50% that requires 30 hours of seat time and the completion of a teacher made packet, and of course summer school.

How can students ever learn to value education when it is being handed out like free t-shirt at a street fair. We put credit into an air cannon and shoot it into the bleachers of the gymnasium and let the students scramble, leap, and elbow their way to graduation.

"Spin the prize wheel. Where will it stop? Algebra II credit! Congratulations!"

The solution? Charge exorbitant amounts for credit. Calculate the value of a credit using the formula: (1/15 teacher salary + cover price of textbook + computing fees + full retail of lunch + incidentals) * inverse grade multiplier * rules infraction multiplier

This formula would double for each repeated attempt to take the class. I'll be generous and give them first crack at credit for free. We are the land of opportunity, but after you have failed a class for the third time and manage a 60% on your fourth try I think that opportunity has passed you by.

However, the real problem is with the teachers. Contrary to popular and presidential opinion our most glaring fault is caring too much. We are overwhelmingly liberal pansies that hate to see children fail, drop-out, or get left behind. We are more susceptible to a sob story than binge drinking college students to gonorrhea .

In conclusion, students don't value education, teachers are suckers, and not much will change.

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