Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Same Song, Umpteenth Verse

There's an article in the NY Times that bangs once again a gong I've been banging for years. "Attention" the gongs gongs, "Our educational system is failing." And it's failing at the most basic of levels. If your school system cannot impart to students the fundamentals of their own native tongue, what good is it really? Would you not agree that literacy is the basic building block of knowledge? Of critical thinking? Of engagement with world? Consider the alternative. Illiteracy shuts people up in a prison of ignorance from which there is no escape. It guarantees that they will be easily victimized by charlatans of every stripe for their entire lives. Even worse, it will diminish the quality of their lives in ways unmeasurable. For what is life without being able to read and understand, think about, take pleasure in? What would it be without intellectual curiosity? All there is and all that's required for such people, as the ancients discovered, is bread and circuses.

The NYT article talks about setting standards for the NY State Regents English exam, which is given to all high school seniors and which they must pass with a score of 65 to get a diploma. The details of the scoring system need not detain us. Suffice it say, the state regents, in order to ensure that failing high school seniors don't clog up the halls until their mid-20s, have dumbed down the exam to such an extent that these student observations deserve credit:

These two Charater have very different mind Sets because they are creative in away that no one would imagen just put clay together and using leaves to create Art.

In the poem, the poets use of language was very depth into it.

 Absurd doesn't seem to quite cover it, does it?
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