Monday, March 28, 2011

Obama: Tests in School are 'Boring'

Well, I didn't know that education was all about thrilling students day in and day out.  I thought it was to teach them skills they will use in life, show them techniques (I'm looking at you, Math and Science) to do complicated equations, and give kids and young adults an idea of what they want to do in life.

But that's boring, according to the President.  While I personally agree that some things need to be changed in our public schools (cough, tenure for bad teachers, cough), I decidedly disagree with this logic.

Talking to Univision television today, the President stated:
“Too often what we have been doing is using these tests to punish students...One thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching the test because then you’re not learning about the world, you’re not learning about different cultures...And young people do well in stuff that they’re interested in.  They’re not going to do as well if it’s boring.”
I'll be frank and to the point here.  I've taken classes in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college and much of the time the material is the same.  What are we really going to change in subjects like math and science?  The real difference is the teacher.

There have been subjects (like history) that I look forward to, only to have my hopes dashed because the teacher is poor or tries to push an agenda.  Likewise, I've taken classes I thought would be boring, only to have them be exciting and thought provoking (I'm looking at you, Dr. Fortin, Dr. Malikov, and Dr. Ashbaugh).
President Obama
Teachers are the thing.  That's why we need to change tenure: give it to teachers who do well, who excite their students.  NOT based on seniority but on merit.  That's the whole point of a meritocracy and, quite frankly, capitalism.  The person who does the best succeeds.  A system where higher-ups choose based on who they know and how long a certain person has been there (I'm looking at you, union heads) is simply broken.

So yes, changes can be made.  But they should be made the right way.

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