Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slash n' burn

No, not that.


If they keep on votin', levy's gonna fail
If they keep on votin', levy's gonna fail
When the levy fails, kids'll have no place to paint

Anyway, it's comical in a 'let's go on a fifty-state killing spree targeting anyone who supports our system of disturbingly misplaced priorities!' -- really, none of you find that funny? Wankers -- kind of way that whenever a school district has to tighten the belt, it's always the same casualties. You know, those frivolous, unnecessary, non-productive luxuries.

Anyway II: Wrath of Khan, Doodily brings home her junior year registration sheet, and lo and behold, everything that's been greyed out, i.e. cut like the steak off an expensive strip of gristle, is art and music and drama and literature and film. At least some foreign language classes survived. In other words, virtually every creative elective. Even the lone science that she'd actually be interested in, astronomy? Chopped like a gangrenous limb and tossed in the county dump to be pecked at by rabid vermin.

Given the fuckery of the Chimpified economy, we knew the sucker would bomb last November, and it did, but it's depressing to see the visual evidence nonetheless. So I told her to buck up little trooper and put your autodidact helmet on and she looked at me like I had Socrates crawling out of my ear.


Dean Wormer said...

One way to look at it is you're smart enought to educate your kids on your own about all that art-y stuff outside of school so they're bound to have a leg up on everybody else when they get to college. OTOH that sort of curses them to live their lives having to talk about shit they really don't care about like "American Idol." It's tough to be the smartest person in the room. Or so I've heard.

Re: Socrates- my oldest just gave me a verbal slapping because she was talking about Socrates in class and kept pronouncing it "Sew-Krates" leading to ribbing by her teacher. She blamed me because I had her sit down and watch Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure recently.

I don't think that's fair. The movie is a classic.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

how dare you object to American priorities. Why, without our $700+Billion military budget, we wouldn't be able to bully Germany and their $30Billion military budget ... or those other Eurotrash.

I'm sure some optimist will be along any minute to remind you that Obama's stimulus package includes buckets of money for education. you buyin' that?!

Randal Graves said...

dean, I was in a room with the smartest guy once. Simply scoffed at us and knocked his cigarette ashes off in our drinks, chastising us for our poor intertextuality when I asked him what time the game was on. Bastard.

HA! You need to find a way to get that teacher to watch that flick. Who doesn't love the Wyld Stallyns?

JNRR, um, Germany is full of Nazis, you don't think we should be planning on a preemptive strike?

Too many damn optimists. Hey, we toss more money than most at health care, how's that workin'? Not that we shouldn't spend more on education, especially at the expense of the military, but no more NCLB-style shit.

I want to know when an ethics class will be mandatory for ALL levels and educational disciplines.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

ummm....when our military budget is $30B and our Education budget is $700B (as in never).

Anonymous said...

Yeah... I know that tune. But by any chance, we're any of the athletics programs cut? I mean, after all, what good is a high school if we can't help a tiny fraction of physically gifted kids from getting a full ride at Ohio State or Dayton?

susan said...

Why does nobody ever talk about slashing the military budget? Ooops, silly me..

Mary Ellen said...

The last guy we had as the Chicago school chief was Arne Duncan. He had no experience in education, whatsoever. He improved the magnat schools but ignored the schools in the poorest areas. Now he is the new Secretary of Education in Obama's cabinet (but hey...he plays basketball and will make a great playmate for Obama!).

Now, da Mayor (Daley) replaced Arne with Ron Huberman. This guy also has no experience in education...none. He was the former CTA President. His claim to fame was to spend an exorbitant amount of money to "beautify" the Dearborn Street subway with a huge flat-screen display and granite floors and tiles. That way, if we have the Olympics in Chicago, it will look all puurtty for those visiting Chicago. Meanwhile, he totally ignored the low-income neighborhoods and left subways that have been closed for years because of disrepair. Ya see, that's not where the Olympic visitors will be, so why bother. Right?

We may have our art classes cut, but I'll bet we will have some great looking granite hallways put in the schools.

darkblack said...

'...really, none of you find that funny?'

Humorless motherf*ckers.


So, they snuffed out her creative electives?
Happened to me at the turn of my high school era too - Of course, the plus side was a marked uptick in my personal diligence regarding self-education, and an auspicious start to my authority issues. Good times.

That said, the fact that it is happening for a generation twice/thrice removed from those dark times provides even more fuel for the urge to stuff as many conservatives as possible into a woodchipper, wherever they may roam.

Liberality said...

that sucks for all these kids coming along. yeah, fuck the guns we need books and music and such!

Beach Bum said...

...everything that's been greyed out, i.e. cut like the steak off an expensive strip of gristle, is art and music and drama and literature and film.

Shit man, we got to give the Limbaugh crowd more tax cuts. And if the kiddies learn about art, music, drama, and and heaven forbid literature how you going to prevent them from forming some ideas on their own.

Utah Savage said...

She has the world at her fingertips and she has you. She will find her way. She will buck the system and become a creative genius just to spite the motherfuckers.

Darkblack is right. She will have a healthy skepticism regarding the authority figures. Oops, that might mean you, dad.

Übermilf said...

Children don't need to be educated.

They just need to know how to follow rules.

Tengrain said...

I don't know how I would have gotten through HS without electives and the so-called "enriching" courses. Oh, wait. CA's Prop 13 killed those for me, too.

Well, we had those after school clubs for that kinda stuff. I remember spending hours and hours trying to play an instrument, trying to sing, speaking french fluently but trying to help others...

I'm really sorry to hear that all these years later it has spread to the rest of the country. This is the time to watch the grades and SAT scores. They've steadily dropped in CA since Prop 13 killed the public schools.

Regards (and regrets)


La Belette Rouge said...

At least she has you to teach her about the arts,film, music and what the word autodidact is and who Socrates is.

S.W. Anderson said...

C'mon, Randal, get with it. Who needs the arts and sciences? We're supposed to be preparing worker bees of the Wal-Mart greeter and McD's "Want fries with that?" kind.

Where electives are provided they're supposed to be of the "Myth of Evolution 101" and "End Times Storytelling for Fun and Profit" kind.

Besides, teaching cultural stuff just leads to frivolity and teaching science just leads to crimes against nature.

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

same in Los Angeles. Our "no kid left behind" is a joke! Unfortuantely that's why our business does so well. It's all homework and nothing creative. Parents have to pay for after-school activities in the arts. Kids in 1st grade are coming home with homework but they aren't really learning anything. It's a shame, because not everyone wants to focus on the math or english, they are creative, they need the arts. How many studies have shown that kids with art or music or something are so much more grounded.

Christopher said...

Art, music and sports is balance.

We can't expect kids to do well in Math, English and History without the balance that comes from art, music and sports.

The sad truth is, the U.S. went through this shiz when Saint Reagan was president. Cuts, cuts and more cuts because the great Reagan blew a hole in the Federal budget his first year in office with tax cuts for the rich we couldn't afford.

When will the citizens realize that Republicans are bad for the country?

Randal Graves said...

JNRR, if we're going to drop something on the heads of others, I'd much rather it be books instead of cluster bombs.

spartacus, some are in danger of being slashed. I'm not sure if they're going to pull a "play this sport, pay X more dollars." I know they did that for football recently.


ME, the Olympics are like parties. Fine to go to one, but who in their right mind would want to host one? And that's not even talking about the pointless cost of the fucking thing. How much over budget was Athens?

And did you ever think that those granite tiles might be nice and comfy for the homeless? At least until they get shooed out.

darkblack, glad someone got a macabre chuckle. ;-)

So, by cutting art, you turned into the bomb-throwing terrorist you are now? I don't know, I prefer to blame Canada itself. You guys have all that pot up there.

Hey, all the trees being cut down? We need to find good jobs for those woodchippers in these trying times.

liberality, on some level, I can understand (the way we try to understand a terrorist, thereby making us members of Hamas) some people going "fuck it" when a lot of the admins like in ME's example aren't worth their salt or pepper or paprika and they figure why throw more loot down a bottomless pit.

Problem is, at the end of the day, the kids are one the ones who get fucked and the teachers get overstretched even further.

BB, how exactly, sir, is watching movies and reading novels going to stimulate the economy? That sounds like socialism!

utah, she's certainly becoming as cynical as I am. Thankfully, she actually has talent so I can leech off her future success like all good parents do.

übermilf, amen. And if they're already grounded, then it's time for double-secret grounding.

tengrain, it's a shame that those types of courses aren't seen for what they are, helping to create more well-rounded, thoughtful, critical citizens.

I can't help but think of some rich dittohead railing against the NEA, wasteful spending, blah blah blah, then back in his 38th floor office, listening to Beethoven, a man who didn't have to work due to the funds of others.

LBR, she already knows who Socrates is but that's only because I made her watch Real Genius. ;-)

SWA, mmmm, fries. Damn, their program is effective!

I know they say that the cockroach will outlast us, but I didn't think we'd be taken down by a flight of remote-controlled beetles.

Think the Left Behind yokels will mind us cutting into their market share?

NVJ, that's exactly it. It's not discounting English and Math (hell, everyday math ability in this nation is brutally poor, we all see that, I'm sure) but why wouldn't we want well-rounded people at the very least exposed to every facet of learning? And pushing the mind towards creative acts can only help in whatever it is that you're going to do.

christopher, balance. Merci, that's the word I was looking for.

Strickland just came out with his educational plan here. I still want to peruse the damn thing and cut through the political speak, but having to deal with the mess that gooper Taft left behind, just like what's happening on the national level.

Anonymous said...