Thursday, June 2, 2011

This is what happens when you let morons build new schools

I’ve talked a lot about how money is not the problem with American education sucking major ass.  A lot of people have responded to me that the problem is that the money is not making it to the kids.  Well, what happens when we let a bunch of assholes spend as much money as they want and the money does make it to the kids?  We end up with a school that is too expensive to run.

In Riverside, CA, a school was built in order to alleviate the overcrowding of La Sierra High School.  Apparently, they spent nearly $105 million on Hillcrest High School.  That’s just the building itself, that doesn’t take into account a year of operating cost or the teacher salaries.  What did they spend the money on?

First, they had to make sure that there was a smart board in every classroom (something I have specifically made fun of in the past).  As if that wasn’t enough, they then felt the need to put in a robotics lab (WTF?).  Oh, well if the 100 kids who take shop class seriously get the pimp mobile, then let’s make sure that the theater is 100% state of the art as well.  The kicker?  Wireless internet.

Holy fucking shit, how could Orson Wells manage to become one of the greatest performers of our time without a state of the art theater to work in as a kid?  Would Oppenheimer have been able to harness the power of the atom without a robotics lab in high school?  Where would life be if Bill Gates didn’t have wireless internet on his lunch periods when he was 16?

Well, because these assholes thought it necessary to include these opulent frivolities, they can’t afford to staff the school with a faculty and they can’t even afford the fucking operating costs of the building.  Their excuse?  “Oh well the state recently cut funding by $25 million.”

Nothing less than this will do to educate our kids.
Someone explain to me why these kids need a smart board in every fucking classroom?  The funny thing is that when I went to school smart boards in classrooms hadn’t even been thought of.  “What’s funny about that Jack?  You were deprived of a great tool!”  Well, Hypothetical Nay Sayer (HTNS), it’s fucking hilarious because most of these kids will probably never be as smart as me or anyone who has had a classical education.

Yeah that sounds pretty lame that I’m comparing my intelligence to some snot-nosed teenagers, but I’m speaking more about intellectual capacity and potential rather than current levels of magnitude.  I went to a Catholic school that had to fund itself through tuition, so we were always behind the technological curve.  Hell, we didn’t even have air conditioning in 80% of the building, and it gets hot as fuck near the end of May.

But for all that lack of technology, I’m a guy that excelled in college.  I’ve stated before that I graduated Summa cum Laude with a 3.98 GPA.  The only two grades I got below an A were 2 A-‘s, one in a math class the other in physics.  Perhaps if I only had a robotics lab I would have done better?  I’m a guy that can learn a language just by reading a text book about it and occasionally getting to practice on someone.  I’m able to do all this shit without ever having the benefit of a smart board or wireless internet (the resource I’m using to learn Latin right now is a hard copy book.  Granted, I bought it off of Amazon, but that was not from wireless internet).

Wat?  Einstein didn't have smart boards when he went
to school?  But Liberal logic tells us . . .
I am at my current level of intellectual prowess because I was brought up in a classical education, one in which the basics of language and mathematics are heavily stressed not for their own sake, but as a platform to build on one’s ability to be a critical thinker.  Columbus Catholic Schools have high academic standards and they can still boast a 100% graduation rate, all without smart boards.

How the hell did any of us make it through without technology?!


William McCullough said...

Jack, you are correct in asserting that your classical education, something currently lacking in our broken education system, is key that gives many of us the ability to reason and argue effectively....WM

Jack Camwell said...

What I don't get is why people feel the need to change something that has proven to work for centuries.

Anonymous said...

ima be a htns

Did they happen to mention how many years the school COULD have run if the smartboards and robotics lab had not been put in place. 105 mil in Cali dollars does NOT sound extravagant to me. it sounds fucking expensive, but not extravagant. What is the opperational cost for 1 year?

also, i agree that those are not "needed". so +1


Jack Camwell said...

It's not just that crap, it's the wireless internet and the theater crap the put way too much money in.

I don't know how long they could have run it, but they probably would have at least had a chance.

Because the operating cost is so high, they were unable to staff the place with a faculty as well.

The point is that these assholes act as if these kids need to have state of the art ANYTHING. They're fucking high school kids, most of which will likely not graduate anyway given shitty graduation rates.

Plus, this school is built to house a shit ton of students, so it likely has a lot of classrooms. That money adds up quite a bit when you figure every classroom has a smart board. THey probably would have saved a boat load of money had they just got chalk boards.

Harrison said...

All Plato had was a rock and some slate.

KP said...

Great call Harrison. Reminds of that time someone was shooting at the oils cans :-)

My rock and some slate; that's all I need.

And my robe. My rock, some slate and my robe; that's all I need.

And this lamp. My rock, some slate, my robe and this lamp. That's all I need.

Plato knew stuff _and_ could teach!

Karen Howes said...

LOL, Jack... as soon as I read, "In Riverside, CA..." I knew what was coming.

You'll get no argument from me at all on this issue... and, yes, smartboards are a total waste of money. At the schools in my county, every classroom as one as well... and most of the teachers I've seen have them sitting ignored and unused against a wall.

Jack Camwell said...

Thanks for the input on that Karen. It's comforting to know that the entirety of the American Education system hasn't succumbed to the cult of technology pushed by the progressive theory.

Harrison said...

Everything you need to know about life is available free on the Internet because it's so old there is no copyright on it. Hell, with a Kindle you can download those books and read them all... Plato, Hobbes, Netwon... everybody. FREE!

Jack Camwell said...

Amen to that Harrison. I've always felt that the role of the teacher is not just as instructor and guide, but it is a person who inspires the students to seek knowledge and learning on their own.

There's a wealth of free information out there for everyone to read, we just have to get them to want to do it.