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View Diary: Tennessee Governor Aims to Improve Higher Education (10 comments)

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  •  I see the results of it (3+ / 0-)

    I've just been grading papers from a second-semester freshman comp class. Coherent, structured paragraphs are rare. Often the sentences are disjointed, with glaring errors in basic grammar and spelling. Transitions are simply sprinkled in, rather than connecting ideas.

    I've had students tell me they've never read a book, even for school. Others think that they won't have to write anything after college.

    Many come in thinking "education" means memorizing facts, and have an incredibly difficult time looking at evidence and drawing conclusions.

    They're not stupid. They're bright and engaging, and often aware that their education was profoundly limited.

    But it's so difficult to make up for lost time. We only have them for a couple of years, and there's much to do in helping them develop the habits of mind that will serve them as educated citizens.

    •  Clearly these people have been listening (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salvador dalai llama

      to too many public speaking engagements by G. W. Bush.

      OT but was that last "press conference" the other day not truly frightening? The. man. cannot. speak. a. coherent. sentence. Never mind grammar, transitions, connecting ideas... and paragraphs? Obviously for sissies and cut 'n' runners.

      It struck me that if practically any other public figure--oh let's say Bill Clinton--was up behind a podioum and started rambling around in this disconnected fashion, the first person up to ask a question would say "Sir, are you feeling all right?" and probably start waving to a staff member offstage as if to suggest that perhaps a doctor should be summoned.

      Ahem, back on topic, as the parent of a Tennessee high school senior I am all in favor of more aid for higher education, stat. Need based or merit based are both fine as we are poor as dirt and the kid got a 30 on his ACT and aced two classes at Governor's School/Humanities in Martin over the summer. (bad Xan, shameless boasting is evil.)

      However the problem is indeed that the poorer schools both urban and rural are the ones that need the help. Our school--total population pK-12 less than 300--has zero AP/IB classes, no driver's ed, no math beyond Algebra II/trig/geometry, and only 2 semesters of (one) foreign language available. This does not look all that great on one's college aps.

      If they have some money to spare it would be nice to see some of it shoveled into improving these items. Or at very least forcing some consolidation....because I value my life and property I do not mention this aloud around here, meaning it will have to be forced by some outside influence.

      Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

      by Xan on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 08:31:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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