Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lessons from School

I had the wonderful fortune to be able to attend a private school which taught me a great deal.

The school, which is not going to be named here, demanded extremely high academic achievement. Every student was expected to excel. Period. There were no excuses. If a child was not doing well in school, what that meant in their mind is that they were not consistently getting a B or better grade, there was something wrong. And in their mind, that was due only to a few reason:

1) Student needs help. In this case the school provided tutors to work with students so they did better. Sometimes older students acted as tutors for younger students, but not always.

2) The teacher is lousy -- If a lot of students in a class were not getting the material, eventually the teacher would be shown the door. There wasn't a lot of talking. You either made the grade or you didn't. You either performed or you didn't. End of story. One child doesn't equal a lousy teacher. But lots of them do.

3) Student Refuses to behave -- Sometimes students would refuse to do homework, refuse to work with the faculty. Sometimes students would get involved with drugs. In any event, the solution was that the student either had to shape up or ship out. In other words, if they consistently refused to get with the program, and work hard and turn around their grades, they would be shown the door. Same thing with students who beat up other students or got involved with drugs. Same punishment. They had to leave.

No other excuses were listened to. Nobody was interested in hearing how there were some other excuses to lack of achievement. Literally, nobody cared. It was one of the above. Period. And believe it or not, most of the children rose to the occasion and actually got their grades into an acceptable range. And the ones that were not interested in learning left. It was just as simple as that. The ones that wanted to be there were given help when their grades slipped. As long as they had the will to learn, the school was there to help them (for the most part.) But the student had to really want it and be willing to put in the long hours of homework necessary to succeed.

But after this tough regimen, when students went to college, they often did really well. One of my friends went to college after this heavy regimen and ended up getting on the Dean's list. He was so used to the pressure this helped him succeed when he went to college. And other students ended up getting good jobs right out of high school, simply off the reputation of the school. A friend of mine was hired right out of high school as a software programmer by a major Fortune 100 software firm based primarily on the reputation of the school and the strength of my friend's technical skill.

So the lesson I learned in school is NOBODY CARES. All that ANYONE cares about is getting the job done. Excuses are just that, excuses and nobody really cares about them or you. That is why you have to work hard and excel.

In public schools today, students are given a million and one excuses as to why they can't or won't perform in school. From the fact that they are Black, to the fact that they are poor, the list goes on and on. But in the end, when they try to get a job, nobody cares. And so many young black men think that racism is preventing them from succeeding and this is true sometimes. But most of the time what is holding them back is lack of skills and behind this lack of skills is a government run, leftist high school that don't teach them the basics they need to work. Misguided, stupid leftists promote that anyone has the right to stay in school, no matter their misbehavior and all this ends up doing is making things harder for the students who actually want to learn.

So, if more schools taught the lessons my school taught me, we would have a true renaissance in education.

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