The proposition 8 my homework

It’s NOT just us. We now have evidence that Sacto’s kids are, in fact, getting dumber. The Sacramento Business Journal reported earlier this week:

High school graduation rates are falling and fewer teens are meeting requirements to get into University of California and California State University schools in Sacramento County.

Those are among the many findings of the 2008 Sacramento County Children’s Report Card, according to a report to be presented Tuesday to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors…

…Among its education findings, the group reports that the graduation rate among high school seniors decreased to 79.6 percent in 2006-07, from 85.1 percent in 2000-01.

The “group” in question is the Sacramento County Children’s Coalition, and they also reported on several other interesting damn lies statistics:

• High school drop outs earn an average of $21,346 a year, while graduates earn an average of $8,747 more.
• Those with a bachelor’s degree earn more than $21,000 annually more than people who have only a high school diploma.
• Spending per student in Sacramento County in 2005-06 was $7,324, compared to the state average of $8,486 and the national average of $9,138.

Who thinks this will get worse before it gets better? Perhaps it’s time to give education its rightful props on the voting ballot.

13 thoughts on “The proposition 8 my homework”

  1. Does this coincide with the products of a large number of “Baby Mama’s” Turning 18? If you were born in 1990 you are now 18. I know if you can do simple math you could figure that out, but often times you just don’t think about it. I want to see the numbers on students raised in homes with 2 parents vs. one parent vs. grandparents or other family members. I know there are a number of generous doctors raised by grandparents or 1 parent, but so were an overwhelming percentage of the states inmates. The kids brains still work just as well as they did in the 80’s. Its just that the parents are too lazy, or tired because they are 70. I hope these kids drop out. I remember the kids who dropped out of my highschool. They were roughnecks who picked fights and disrupted class. There was no controlling them because they didn’t respect any adults. By 10th grade most of them were gone and classes were a lot better. Thank god these kids drop out. You don’t want them around the youth in your family.

    -Nick
    C/O 2002

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  2. Yes- It’s the push to have “everyone” graduate. The dumb sh!ts and kids who really don’t want to be in school are forced to stay in. While retention rates (those who attend) go up, overall graduation rates go down.

    When the system accepts that all people are not “created equal” (really– equal? I’d LOVE to be 7’1″ and get a free-ride bball scholarship and NBA contract, so why do you think that Shaaniqukwanza and Billy Bob and Manuel and Sally-Jo all have equal brain power from the start) and set up a parallel trade school/ditch digging/fruit picking educational system, “graduation rates” will go up.

    For money, ditch the unions, eliminate NCLB compliance, fire 80% of the administration. Focus on paying good teachers and keeping the schools from falling down. You’ve just saved money, and you’ll have better infrastructure without the union keeping a teacher from painting his classroom wall.

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  3. I can tell you from experience a big part of this is NCLB but also the textbook writers are fairly insane. I have two teens in two different schools and the crap they bring home is utter dreck. I am astounded by the level of ineptitude in our public schools! I find I do alot of teaching to fill in the gaps.

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  4. For those who are not hip to the educational acronyms, NCLB = No Child Left Behind.

    Here’s how it’s “making a difference in California.” (.pdf)

    Between 2003 and 2005 (latest data available)…Fourth-grade reading proficiency increased by eight percentage points…Fourth-grade mathematics proficiency increased by five percentage points (California Report Card)

    End report. Good times.

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  5. Where did this attitude that all kids need to go to college come from? Do we not need excellent construction workers, laborers, autoworkers, etc? The bulk of jobs in America don’t require college degrees. People who work in my company who didn’t graduate high school mostly make an above-average income. School isn’t for everyone, and graduating from something isn’t proof of your value to society. I know plenty of PhD’s who haven’t contributed crap to this world, but we’d be in a world of hurt without skilled laborers. We need to catch kids earlier and decide who college is right for and who we should help to succeed without going through four years of torture.

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  6. Wait, the Sacramento County Children’s Coalition isn’t a group?

    Are they, like Asia and Damn Yankees, a supergroup?

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  7. T Mc,

    I think the underlying assumption is that kids who do better in school and actually graduate have a better chance at making more money, and therefore being more financially secure, that those who don’t. Your mileage may vary.

    There are always exceptions, but I think it’s a generally accepted truth on a global level. While you shouldn’t take statistics at face value, the income comparisons that the SCCC provides (as at the end of the post) indicate as much.

    At the very least, I don’t think it’s expecting too much that kids in this day and age at least graduate from high school. When you see the proportion of students who are not graduating from high school increase, and fewer Sac students qualifying for a university education at Sac universities, it probably doesn’t bode well for Sac.

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  8. I don’t think that the assumption that our kids deserve a system with 100% high school completion rate means that we assume all kids should go to college. Personally I think that age 17/18 is a great point for departure into something: college, apprenticeship, a decent job you don’t need a BA for, whatever. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think Nickelby is the worst thing ever. It just means that I think the way to ensure kids don’t get left behind is more like what Turty Squip suggested — massive overhaul, competition, etc — than simply more testing and more numbers.

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  9. In some countries in Europe they take groups of kids at about 16 and basically ‘poll’ them as far as what they want to do/be when they grow up and it’s organized and efficient and covers all the bases as far as avenues to take. (hello run on sentence) Anyway, they then divide the classes into two groups and about half go on to a four year university and half go to a trade school. This is just how it’s done and no one is frowned upon for not going to college. I think this is a great idea.

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  10. So in our current system you are left with 2 possible predictable outcomes. 1 is someone prepared to attend college. 2 someone who is not prepared to attend college. Thank god for free will throwing a monkey wrench in to that system. I was in on all this testing. They would give me awards and scholarships for being in the high percentile of Ca morons, then I would flunk the same topic. I know what foreshadowing is. It takes 30 seconds to explain it to me. I don’t care enough to spend an hour a day, 5 days a week, for 8 months trying to get everyone else to understand foreshadowing, and what a red rose may signal in a story. So I didn’t try. If you put a piece of lumber in front of me I would work on it for hours, same thing with cars. Now why did my school only offer me the tools to become a shop boy in the field I showed interest in? I could of had 3 years of training for 4 hours a day to make me a journey man in a number of trades. While still getting 3-4 hours a day in with math, english, and history. Carpenters make 41k a year, plumbers make 47k, and mechanics make 36k per http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm . Sounds just as good as being a counselor or a number of other professions that demand education. Even Law Enforcement would be a good trade class. My job just started demanding AA’s. Dumbest move ever. The people I work with who don’t have higher education, yet were smart enough to jump through the hoops to get there are smarter than the people trained in college to jump through hoops. There are different kinds of intelligence. As long as we lock people out of jobs because they don’t have a piece of paper society will suffer. I am now in school to get my piece of paper. I already make more than the degree can get me, but I need it to easily verify that I am smart to someone who doesn’t yet know me.

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