Monday, December 28, 2009

Berkeley High School, CA - where the lunatics are running the asylum

At first I absolutely couldn't believe my eyes, reading a report about this school . . . until I realized with dismal misery that it wasn't a joke.

Berkeley High School is considering a controversial proposal to eliminate science labs and the five science teachers who teach them to free up more resources to help struggling students.

The proposal to put the science-lab cuts on the table was approved recently by Berkeley High's School Governance Council, a body of teachers, parents, and students who oversee a plan to change the structure of the high school to address Berkeley's dismal racial achievement gap, where white students are doing far better than the state average while black and Latino students are doing worse.

Paul Gibson, an alternate parent representative on the School Governance Council, said that information presented at council meetings suggests that the science labs were largely classes for white students. He said the decision to consider cutting the labs in order to redirect resources to underperforming students was virtually unanimous.

Science teachers were understandably horrified by the proposal. "The majority of the science department believes that this major policy decision affecting the entire student body, the faculty, and the community has been made without any notification, without a hearing," said Mardi Sicular-Mertens, the senior member of Berkeley High School's science department, at last week's school board meeting.

. . .

The full plan to close the racial achievement gap by altering the structure of the high school is known as the High School Redesign. It will come before the Berkeley School Board as an information item at its January 13 meeting.

There's more at the link.

One couldn't make this up if one tried. Science, the bedrock of modern understanding, an essential element of much of modern life, is to be shut down at this school in order to 'free up more resources to help struggling students'? What the hell do they expect their non-science-educated students to do when they leave the school and go on to higher education? Without a solid science education, they'll be intellectually crippled!

There have always been, still are, and will always be struggling students: but it doesn't help the student body as a whole to destroy the upper echelons of education in order to cater to the lowest common denominator! Education should challenge those receiving it to work harder, stretch their minds - not seek to 'dumb down' the courses in the name of egalitarianism!

Of course, this doesn't matter to the liberal clique who are obviously running the school (into the ground, let it be said). 'Hard' subjects like science don't count. What counts is the 'warm fuzzy' of addressing 'human issues' and 'social interaction' and so on. The fact that none of the latter matters a row of beans when it comes to achievement in later life is neither here nor there, as far as they're concerned.

I can only be profoundly grateful that I have no children of my own exposed to such blithering idiocy. If I did, I'm afraid I'd be tempted (beyond my ability to resist) to perpetrate an unfortunate and definitely politically incorrect act upon those who dared to suggest such nonsense!



Ritchie said...

They are, of course, at liberty to sink on their own merits. Hopefully (oh, there's that word again) they take as few as possible with them.

Anonymous said...

With a long enough lever and a firm enough fulcrum... we could push California into the ocean.


Chris said...

There are two ways to even out achievement - Help those at the bottom or Hinder those at the top.

Guess which is easier?

makeumdothechicken said...

It makes sense! Most minority students do not fair well in science classes so science must be a racist subject and needs to be eliminated. Following this line of thinking a disproportionate amount of minorities have suspended driver's licenses so maybe we should do away with those as well. While we are at it, a much larger percentage of minorities than whites are incarcerated so we better get rid of all the criminal statutes as well. And, whites in general earn more than blacks so we should probably do away with jobs and money too.

What these idiots fail to understand is race has absolutely nothing to do with any of these things. All races have their fair share of miscreants. The problem is a cultural issue. Cultures which honor and respect work ethic and personal responsibility produce hard working responsible human beings. Cultures that nurture their children, make them study, supervise them and are involved in their lives produce children with scholastic ability, valid driver's licenses, low incarceration rates and marketable skills. This is true no matter what the color of the members of the culture.

On the other hand cultures that glorify gangs, violence, drug dealing and criminal activity don't nurture anything or anyone. When Father's Day causes confusion as to whom you should send a card, the most successful person that you personally know is a drug dealer, no one bothers to supervise you, cares who you hang out with, or whether you attend to your studies, you become a lazy, ignorant, underachiever, no matter what color you are.

If you want to fix the problem you have to fix the culture. That can't be done without fixing the families. No one wants to do that because that would mean there is absolute right and wrong. People would have to take personal responsibility for their actions. That is not currently fashionable. Especially not when all you have to do is play the race card and our society throws free stuff at you.

dave said...

The superintendent's name isn't Diana Moon-Glampers by any chance, is it?

Jerry said...

I can only assume that they think that they have too many science labs and not enough classes on "community organizing".

bluesun said...

My thoughts:

2) OH NO!
3) These are the Future leaders of America.
4) Equality!

They seriously happened in that order.

Old NFO said...

I cannot even comment... because the words I would use all have four letters... idjits... @#&* idjits!

Chip said...

Is it just me or has "Atlas Shrugged" gone from being a novel to scary prediction of the near future.

William said...

This is nothing new, and not confined to California. There were many "gifted and talented" programs in Ohio in the 70s that were eventually eliminated as being "elitist". Basically, people whose kids weren't in the advanced classes felt bad, and so the advanced classes were canceled.

This is one main reason why I graduated from a private school.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense based on the way standards are conducted in education. Most schools need to meet standards for all students in racial brackets. If these schools do not meet the standards, they fail to meet state certification, which hurts the school and funding. I'm not saying this is the right or wrong practice, however, I can understand why the decision was made.