The so-called American “education” system

Why am I the only one who questions the fallacy of having the school day packed with nonstop classes (save for lunch), with no study halls, etc. 

When I graduated from high school 40 years ago, we were in school a bit less than kids are now (6-1/2 hours) with approximately 4-1/2 hours of classes, 1/2 hour or 45 minutes for lunch, with the balance taken up by study hall, gym, etc.  Yet despite this “deficiency” in our school day, we learned more than kids do now.  Even more amazing, we entered college actually knowing how to read and write and do Math at least through Geometry or Algebra II and ready to plunge into Calculus.   And did I mention we didn’t have standardized tests, thereby freeing teachers to teach content, rather than “teach to the test”?

Nowadays kids are pushed from class to class for 4 years, taking 4 years of English and Math, but come out knowing nothing, often having to take remedial reading or Math courses when they enroll in college (and to boot, can’t even do the simplest math calculations without a calculator). 

I’m not making this stuff up, for I’ve seen it first hand as one who taught HS Math for a year, and have been teaching college Math since then. 

Clearly, something’s wrong with this picture!

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About libertarianmathprof

I'm a college Math Professor, and have been since 2002 after teaching HS Math for a year. I teach mostly entry level subjects such as Prealgebra and Algebra, but enjoy teaching classes that have logic or statistics as part of the content (something that goes beyond just doing arithmetic). Prior to that, I worked for 25 years as an actuary specializing in the design and administration of retirement plans for small businesses. My interests include, in no particular order: Libertarian politics Economics, particularly Austrian economics and political economics Female acoustic singer-songwriters, the more unknown, the better Oldies from the pre-British invasion era, when pop music radio stations played everything from Jimmy Dean to Buddy Holly to Johnny Cash to Lawrence Welk, and it sounded all so natural together (and you can actually understand the words as you sing along with the songs word for word) Puzzles, particularly logic-based puzzles such as Sudukos NPR Will Short's puzzle on WESUN Baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals in particular The Cleveland Browns of the 1960's (led by QB Frank Ryan, perhaps the only NFL player with a Ph.D. in Mathematics) The NCAA men's basketball tournament The Winter Olympics Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the most famous person you've never heard of. Her nonviolent and tireless pursuit of democracy for Burma (and don't call it Myanmar as long as those nutcases with OCD continue their illegal rule of this nation) makes her one of the true heroes of our time--and perhaps of all time. You go girl! When in the car, if I'm not listening to CD's, I listen to: WFAE ("Your NPR News Source")--Charlotte's NPR affiliate. Mostly during the NPR news shows during drive time WNCW--eclectic music legend out of Western North Carolina. WNCW plays just about anything--what it doesn't play is easier to describe than what it does play WSGE--"your independent music source" from Gaston College. Exists in a parallel universe and overlaps a lot with WNCW. WRBK ("Classic Oldies")--automated noncommercial FM station out of Chester County, SC whose playlist is about as broad as you can get (1950's through the early 1980's) unless it's..... WAIZ ("63 Big Ways") a recreation of the legendary Charlotte top 40 station from the 60's airing out of Hickory, NC. Usually infested with static, but the static is a minor inconvenience to be able to hear oldies ignored by most other radio stations. WAVO, from Rock Hill, SC. Does for standards what Big Ways does for pre-British invasion oldies. Also WAVO and Big Ways overlap a lot, with both playing some of the greatest music ever recorded that doesn't get played too many places! 650 AM WSM ("The Legend") when I'm driving home late at night after teaching night classes. The station that made the Grand Ole Opry Famous KMOX from St. Louis. Flagship station for the St. Louis Cardinals. That says it all!
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