i am freaking seething right now. therefore, i'm once again all over the map :)
two weeks ago my 5th grader informed me that she watched portions of the royal wedding in class that day. that earned an internal eyeroll on my part, thinking to myself "how the fuck does this even begin to pertain to the education of an 11-yo girl?" but, i managed to keep my disdain inside as i asked her how the teacher tied that into her average school day...not surprisingly, she had no clue..."i dunno, it was just on". this morning, the final launch of the space shuttle Endeavor was televised live from Cape Canaveral shortly after her school day started. this afternoon, when i asked her if they watched it in class, she said to me, "what's a space shuttle?"
whattheeffevs. i'm so over this school district and their Nazi-control-freak-about-ridiculous-things-yet-clueless-about-things-that-might-actually-affect-the-kids-in-a-positive-way ways. these kids can only wear shorts to school from may through september...keeping in mind they are out of school june, july and august of those 5 months and that central valley often reaches into the triple-digit temps well into october. they are told that the shorts are a distraction and they are lucky they are allowed to wear them at all during the school year. these kids also have rules about how long their hair can be - well, the boys have rules; the girls, not so much. their hair cannot be in their eyes, cannot be past their earlobes and cannot touch the collar of their shirt at the back of the neck. i'm told it's a "distraction" if these guidelines aren't kept. once, i went so far as to suggest braden use a hair clip to keep his hair back out of his eyes...the administrator didn't see the humor and denied my request. one time, at band camp, my child was pulled out of class and sent to the office to call me for a change of clothes because he had a factory-ripped (and patched) 1.5" tear in his jeans. evidently, pulling him out of class and sending him to the office wasn't a distraction, but the sewn-up tear was. our kids no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance at school and if they were to, "God" wouldn't be allowed to participate. everyone in sports gets a ribbon because if there were such things as winners and losers, feelings would get hurt. uhm, yea...i could go on.
side note: there are parts of our dress code that i do understand: no pro-sports team jerseys, hats, logos whatever. it's a gang thing, check; ass cheeks are not to be hanging out when they are allowed to wear shorts. it's a horny teenager thing, check; camouflage clothing (unless it's pink) is not allowed. ok, not sure what the reasoning here is, unless they are afraid they'll lose a kid or two during the day to the underbrush outskirts of the enemy's perimeter *eyeroll*, but whatever, i've let it slide. check.
sorry, back to my original rant. at Garfield Elementary in Clovis CA, our 11 year old kids are watching the royal wedding in class, but not the launch of a space shuttle into space. INTO SPACE. that's still a big deal, right? i mean, obviously it was back in the dark ages of *my* 5th grade. the AV nerds lived for shit like that. rolling the equipment into the classroom, anticipation building because we were going to get to watch TV! surely, America's space program still contains a "teachable moment" or two for science, for technology, for history, for SOMETHING, no?
in the news just last week: "The World Economic Forum ranks the USA 48th in math and science education...On America’s latest exams (the National Assessment of Educational Progress), one-third or fewer of eighth-grade students were proficient in math, science, or reading. Our high-school graduation rate continues to hover just shy of 70 percent, according to a 2010 report by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, and many of those students who do graduate aren’t prepared for college. ACT, the respected national organization that administers college-admissions tests, recently found that 76 percent of our high-school graduates “were not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses.”
48th?!? how is that even fucking possible? how is that acceptable, how did this happen, we ask...well, *i'm* asking anyway. in a phone call to the school tomorrow; in a letter to the school district this week and in a letter to the editor of every CA newspaper i can get ahold of. i'm naming names, mary. i'm fed up with this elitist, uppity and IGNORANT bullshit. ok, quite honestly i've been fed up with it for a long time - but hey, i'm actually going to do something about it beyond my local bitching this time. i let a lot of shit roll, i'm aware of that...and this royal wedding vs space shuttle launch in the classroom bullshit is small stuff in the grand scheme of things...but jeebus, it has something to say to everyone of us. i think it's time we paid attention to what