Archive for 6, September 2011

Computers & Kids

Posted in politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 6, September 2011 by chockblock

“In the Classroom of the Future, Stagnant Scores” is the headline of a New York Times account of the uselessness of high-tech education. Since the Clinton administration, liberal “experts” have argued that giving every kid a laptop, “educational” software, and Internet access will produce a generation of geniuses. That has to be the stupidest idea in the history of education. Of course, it hasn’t worked. But that doesn’t discourage the New Age nerds who run the Obama administration’s education policy.

The Times reports on the miserable performance of students in Arizona’s Kyrene School District, where taxpayers have spent $33 million to digitize classrooms since 2005.

A Moron with a Computer Is Still a Moron, by David P. Goldman. Pajamas Media

As a big advocate for computers, I for one welcome computers into the classroom. However, the tool is only as good as the user. Goldman goes on to point out that China (gasp!) has more students level-grinding at the classics and music than we do.

Of course they do. Poor countries do not take education for granted. In poor countries, problem kids are shown the door, not given a time out. In contrast, college is seen in the west as high school with beer and no adult supervision.

Goldman bemoans the toys those young people play with. I have a better idea. How about parents actually parent their children. If the school system and the dolts they insist on teaching won’t, parents should step in. My father had an iron clad rule about homework: get it done, period.

Teachers today are just as prone to mushy leftist fads as they were when I was in school. I came up after “new math” but just as “multiculturalism”. Drill and kill was still in style, but man weren’t those reading and English books filled with leftist claptrap. Still, most of us got out and went to college. My late father insisted that a good education was like money in the bank. Thankfully he missed the higher education bubble…

Parents need to go back to the tried and true methods (as do teachers). Drill, Drill, drill! Homework before you play with that xbox/ps3/wii. How about going outside to play once and a while? I’ve unplugged the TV and honestly I don’t miss it.

The best parents are parents. Get involved. If your school district insists on wasting money on crap like “some blogging or building Facebook pages from the perspective of Shakespeare’s characters” (*facepalm*)…insist on another teacher or spring for private school.

Parents are the anti-drug and the anti-stupid. Until we get school choice nation-wide, prepare for another wave of leftist new-age crap to sweep the tweed-set. Our betters in the AFT and NEA will come up with another way to [insert nonsense phrase here] our children. Parents need to hold teachers and principles feet to the fire and insist on a real education.
Real math, real science, real history and to hell with that “self-esteem” crap.

And turn off the gadgets until that homework is done!

A looong time ago, 60 minutes ran a story about a Texas education (a former fighter pilot!) wrote his own math text book. It was full of drill and kill exercises that actually worked. Not make work, but drills that showed the why and how math worked. He had high school kids doing college-level calculus. So of course no text book company wanted it. His peers accused him a “making kids into machines.” Yes, a teacher said that. And we wonder why the Chinese are ahead…

The take away message is to parent your kids. Not be their friend, not their wallet. Be the adult. Turn off the toys, make them study. Spring for a tutor if you can’t sit with them. Homework first then happy fun time. Your kids will thank you. Not now, but they will thank you.