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Re: Public Schools

Timothy C. May wrote:
> At 9:22 AM -0400 9/27/96, ronsimpson wrote:
> >I hate to burst any bubbles but, the school with the highest number
> >of National Merit Finalists and highest number of 1600 SATs is a
> >Public High School (Jefferson High in Fairfax, VA)

> I took some of my science classes at Jefferson.
> Yes, shocking as it may seem, I AM A PRODUCT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
> Help me before it's too late.
> (Seriously, my view is that schools are not very important. All
> success, academic or technical, derives from one basic determining
> factor: those who read for pleasure, succeed, and those who don't read 
> for pleasure, don't. The young child who reads will usually keep
> reading, whether novels, encyclopedias, lists like this, etc. The
> child who is not into reading will likely never get into it later in 
> life. Which is OK, as there is a serious
> shortage of tradesmen, at least in my area, and more kids ought to be
> taught usable trades. Seriously. Our "ideal" that all children should
> attend college is absurd, given the lack of academic preparation,
> desire, and reading skills that so many high school students lack. 
> Most community
> colleges are essentially becoming Grades 13-14, with most of the Grade
> 13-14 students reading at the 9th-grade level (which most of us on
> this list were reading at when we were in the 7th-grade, or earlier).)

On the "ideal that all children should attend college":

I grew up in Ohio and went to school in the 1950's.  College was a 
luxury, or necessary only for professional jobs (doctor, etc).
There was no Ohio income tax, and no state lottery, both of which were 
instituted (in the 1970's) at least partly on the premise of helping 

I don't have to elaborate on where the money went, right?  But, if you 
are suggesting seriously that one of the greatest money scams of all 
time, which involves not only moving pay-for-school to the masses (i.e., 
requiring college for nearly everyone), but makes indentured servants 
out of most of the people who get a serious degree, well, you're up 
against the big bucks on that one.