Gotta Love Public Educashun

Our family had dinner at Garbanzo’s (the best pizza in the Treasure Valley by the way) last week. While waiting for our pizza, we were going through one of those trivia question things that you often find on the tables in mom-and-pop restaurants. Things were going pretty well until we came to the question “What country is north of Idaho?” The Younger Daughter (4th grade) answered Alaska (hello, that’s a state, not a country); The Older Daughter (9th grade) had no clue. I was floored. I consider myself reasonably intelligent and thought that The Wife and I (and even the public schools) had done a good job of educating our kids. How could they not know that Canada is north of the United States?

To give them a chance to redeem themselves, I asked a follow-up question: “What country is south of Texas?” Crickets could be heard as I waited for an answer. Once again, they had no clue. How is this? What geography are the public schools teaching our kids if not such basics as what countries border the United States? I am now convinced that our country is doomed.

5 Responses to “Gotta Love Public Educashun”

  1. Rick Says:

    As a public educator, I also share your concern about things like geography not being made a priority. However, it might be for slightly different reasons than what you’ve listed here. Accountability has become paramount in our business today, and in Oregon that means teaching standards in Reading, Writing, and Math. I believe that Social Studies will be next. We only have x number of hours in a school year to teach things that will be on the assessments (state or otherwise). We need to get as many kids as possible to meet state benchmarks. So to address your issue, we’re teaching core subjects very, very well (at least here in Hermiston), but maybe at the expense of some other subjects. Just some food for thought.

  2. John Says:

    Just a helpful tip… I’ve tried to argue this point with Rick, don’t try to win this one. One would think that he has the same number of hours in his day that Mr. Endicott, Mrs. Livingston and the lot had. Yet, kids today are slightly smarter than rocks.

    Besides, if the spineless leaders of our country keep going the way they are on immigration reform, we will be proud residents of Canstatico!

    psst… CANada, United STATes & MexICO.

    Ask them who Hannah Montana’s Dad is, and they will have an answer.

  3. John Says:

    btw… don’t you think you should change your template?

  4. Bryan Says:

    Hey Rick. Always love to hear your feedback. I’m definitely not trying to throw teachers under the bus. Like any other professions, there are good and bad ones. But I recognize that the overwhelming majority love what they do, are good at what they do, and work their butts off to educate our children. It’s the system that’s broken. That’s all I was trying to point out and have a little fun at the same time.

  5. Kim Says:

    It’s all about the standards, Baby! If it’s not a standard, we don’t/can’t teach it. We don’t have time before the Almighty Test. Heck, in the pacing calendar, I only get 3 days to teach long division before I have to go on to algebraic equations, and I teach 5th grade. Yes, I said ALGEBRAIC EQUATIONS to 5th graders! Meanwhile, my kids are still trying to figure out how in the world to divide 453 into 72, 987!

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