SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Career and College Readiness Bullshit

Friday, August 9, 2013

Career and College Readiness Bullshit

Can someone please explain this career and college readiness to me? What is the determination for when one is career and/or college ready?

It's all bullshit.

I will make my point.

But first some background in a somewhat stream of consciousness.

I never cared for school growing up. I always felt that I was smarter than my teachers and smarter than everyone else and I was going to do things my way. This caused me to wind up in the principal's office on almost a daily basis.

I basically coasted through school up until 11th grade. I put in the effort I had to, nothing more, nothing less. School didn't excite me and I was bored all the time. I thought geometry was a waste of time and so was almost any other subject other than Social Studies.

I was obliterating my junior year in HS. I wasn't showing up for class, I wasn't showing up for school, I wasn't doing homework. I took my PSAT's and got an 850.

My parents decided that I needed a change and sent me to a local private school in the hopes that the personalized attention and small class size would help.

It didn't. I still didn't care. In fact I didn't care more because the other students at the school were there, more or less, for the same reason I was there.

My math teacher at this private school was a failed priest with a sociology degree that had no idea what he was talking about. I once asked him in the middle of class, "Mr Costa, do you have any naked pictures of your wife?" When he replied, "No," I asked him if he wished to purchase some from me. I got two weeks detention.

The science teacher, Mrs Amy was a hardcore Catholic. I muttered "Jesus Christ" under my breath and she slapped me with a week detention. I muttered it again to make sure she heard it and she slapped another week on.

I got more detentions here and there. Mostly had to come in on Saturdays for entire day "as punishment." Big deal. I was left alone in building. I found out where the TV was and watched or either slept.

I went back to my high school in September, and just continued. I barely graduated. I had no plans to go to college and the guidance counselors had no plans to guide me.

Oh, did I mention that my mom was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer two months before I graduated. She died that November.

But even without her dying, I was in no way ready for college emotionally. I also had no idea what my career was going to be.

Right after high school I worked for my dad's printer on 8th Ave and 14th as a messenger. I loved it.  I was making $150 a week! I worked in Manhattan. I thought I was so cool.

The January after graduation I enrolled at the local community college. I put down Business as a major because everyone else did and that is what I thought my dad wished me to do.

I did not do well. And kept on not doing well through several semesters. The same went for my choice of jobs. 

I started working in a deli in 1987 and I liked it, the money was good, but it was not something I wanted to do long term. In fact during this time my Jewish great aunt was kvetching to me to go "learn a trade."

I soon moved out and around the time I was 27 I had an epiphany. I better get my ass in gear. And I did.

I think what did it for me was that I decided that going to and doing well in college was for me, not my dad. I had to want it for myself. I also had to want a career, for myself.

So what is the point I am getting at?

These so called exams that are determining and predicting whether or not a 3rd grader or a 12th grader is career and/or college ready are bullshit. All these exams do is show what the students can memorize, jot down, create, whatever. It doesn't show emotional readiness or what is in the students heart.

I am/was just as smart as the nerds in my high school that went to Brown, Yale, med school, law school, or whatever. They just took tests better and gave a shit more than I did and conformed more than I did.

Two of the stupidest people I know are my brother in law and my cousin. They are both lawyers. They have no clue of the world outside of the law.

I had a friend at one time who had graduated from the University of Chicago. Hell, he was book smart, but I teased him that if he ever go lost in the woods, he would have no idea what to do.

My wife is an artist, she wanted to be one from the time she was 10. Would a child such as my wife need to take the ELA or math exams?  Can creativity be tested?

My son wants to play Major League Baseball (I tell him that I will be happy if baseball helps facilitate him getting into college). Does he need to know trig to hit a ball or to throw a slider? Oh, I swear there is one Elite right now that is saying, "Well with Math and Science you can learn why a slider breaks as it does." Yeah, does Mariano Rivera really care how and why is cutter breaks?

I can see a point in high school students taking a more rigorous exam to see if they are truly career and/or college ready. But 9 year olds?

These exams are foisted upon us and created by Elites who think that everyone aims to excel and be as wonderful as they think they are.


I am not trying to sound uncaring, but the world needs ditch diggers and Al Bundy's.

I am more concerned that my son puts an effort everyday into his schoolwork and whatever else he enjoys. The tests are bullshit.

I want him to go to a great college but that depends more on him than taking bullshit exams. It depends what kind of person he becomes as well.

As far as a career for him, do what you want and do what makes you happy. Just put an effort into what you do and be the best that you can be.

A generation is being lost. It is time to make those is charge responsible for hurting our children. 


Anonymous said...

I had a different type of experience during my adolescence.

I was always "book smart," loved school, breezed through Metropolitan Achievement Tests, Iowa Skills Tests, PSATs, SATs, College Board Achievement Tests, Advanced Placement Exams, and, of course, midterms, Citywides, and Regents.

However, I received lectures from my parents, several times a week, that even though I was smart in school, I had "no common sense."

And then they would recite a long list of the latest supposed infractions to prove their point.

I had several cousins, from both sides of the family, who were in the same boat with respect to their own parents.

My cousins and I would commiserate, from time to time, at family gatherings. We came to the conclusion, early on, that the "no common sense" lectures were something invented by parents to get back at their kids for otherwise driving them nuts! We enjoyed sharing our stories of the latest occurrences that prompted the lectures.

I'll save the specifics for some other time. They're actually quite entertaining!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Bronx Teach!! My children are not going to take these so called tests as PARENTS we have the right to refuse these tests!! Not sure how many ppl know this but it's totally true. Contact your school district for further information!!

Anonymous said...

I am amazed by the claim. Based on their track record, the only thing that the various educational tests could ever predict was success on the same test the following year. Along comes Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street crowd to buy up the testing industry, and suddenly they are transformed into clairvoyants who can see a decade into the future with one test. Of course these claims have no validity, but they give us a clear vision of our future where Bill Gates companies score tests, rate attitudes and opinions, and fast track 80% of elementary school kids to vocational education.

David Greene said...

This is just the next step down the road after taking the federal bribe to accept RTTT money. It is a shame. When the NYT published a sample question from each of the 3-8 th grade math tests, I have them to some of my relatives and friends... All of whom have either masters and ph.ds .....
The results, all felt anxiety about the questions. Some got one wrong. Many had to retread more than one of the questions a few times.
All expressed a great surprise at the requirements in each grade. The area of a rhombus in sixth grade? I learned that in the sophomore year at the Bronx High School of Science. Word problems in 3rd? Ok if you can read at at sophisticated level? Exponents? Factors? Really?.....

Finally, the most asked questions were.. Who the hell made this test ? It's is the expected curriculum?
Last thoughts? As most said...." This is crazy!"

Anonymous said...

We are creating a generation of students that can darken in the circle but can't think outside the box

TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew) said...

I have decided that since the mayor has decided that all students must be college and career ready, I will now let my students know that if they continue to perform poorly, I will just inform them that since I am supposed to make you career ready, I will hand them a french fry basket or tell them that they are fired. I mean I am not allowed to tell them they have failed...that would hurt their feelings.