Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All too easy

Remember when Vader had tripped up Luke, dumping him into the carbon freezing unit? 

“All too easy.”

Yep, that was the quote that the Sith Lord uttered before Luke leapt out of the pit and proceeded to engage in the most bad-ass light saber battle of the entire series.  Not only that, Luke later went Joe Pesci on Vader in Jedi, making the the phrase “all too easy” seem like a total and complete farce.

Kind of like this report by the Center for American Progress which shows that kids feel like school is much too easy.  The thesis is that kids are not being challenged by the current curriculum and that more and more kids need rigor introduced into their academic lives.

“…21 percent of 12th graders said their
math work was often or always too easy, and 56 percent reported their civics work was too easy. Another 55 percent reported that their U.S. history work was too easy.”

This is the kind of report that makes teachers everywhere scratch their heads and wonder if the makers of the survey actually realize that people they are talking to are teenagers.  These are the same people that often hum “Call Me Maybe” while texting naked photos to each other before downing a 750 Grey Goose from their parents liqueur cabinet.  These are people that like Snooki and believe that Lebron James is one of the best basketball players ever to pick up the rock. 

Why the skepticism of the report?  It’s probably the twelve years of teaching experience or something to that effect.  And while I’d agree that students want to be challenged to think, they want to do so on their own terms that are set up by their own work ethic built around their own values.  Basically they want to think like an adult while still acting like a teenager.  You know, like we wanted.  Only now parents are hip enough to realize that the child’s path of least resistance is a simpler way to easy parenting; give the kid what they want and they won’t be so hard to deal with.  Thus kids are ill prepared for college and thus the problem is that OBVIOUSLY high school isn’t hard enough. 

This report ranks up there with saying that Ron Burgundy is a genuine news reporter.  No seriously, I see him on that big screen thingy and he is reporting the news.  Therefore he must be a serious news reporter because the facts are staring us right in the face.  And all the while  Will Ferrell is laughing at us behind our backs because we can’t seem to translate sarcasm, comedy, or bad data points like asking teenagers if high school is too easy. 

In a society that sucks up to children to the point of turning Las Vegas to a Desert Disney, maybe we need to look at all the other data that says that kids don’t find school easy at all.

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