2007-12-04 - 2:52 p.m.
As I sit here, contractor T is apparently putting up new lights in the dining room. I know we should be able to do this ourselves, but really, it's probably better that we don't.
I'm looking forward to this for many reasons. For one thing, it will mean that the dining room is mostly finished. that's good. And also, the hideous bare
So there's that.
Oh, another reason I'm happy is that the current bare bulbs also sort of hiss in an unpleasant way.
Okay. Now I've got to go. The holiday season was kicked off today with a lunch for a committee I'm on. Which means I haven't got a whole lot done today.
I really want to go get a tree, but I'm not quite sure where we should put it, nor am I exactly sure where the tree stand is, or the lights for that matter.
Here's the thing -- we always get an incense cedar, so that's what we'll get this year, too. But I'm sort of wanting a fir. Hmmm. No one's going to go for that, though.
Okay. I'm off.
Oh -- the development group was rather interesting last night. LUPS stands for large urban high school, and that's exactly what it is. It's got over 3,000 kids. It's a tough mandate, and there are many dedicated teachers and administrators, but it is such a mess. It's been divided into a bunch of small schools within a school, like the academic program, the arts program, the communication program, the international high school. It shocked the woman who represents the arts school to realize that the kids in the academic program were getting just as shafted as her kid is. The percentage of kids with learning disabilities is the same, and they're in classes of, in M's latin class, for instance, 45 kids. But the principle doesn't care, because the GPA for that class is 3.8.
So he doesn't care, because they are, for the most part, well-behaved and high achieving kids. But does that help the kid in that class who does have a problem? Does that help the kid from a difficult background who might want to take that class, but can't really function in the benign neglect situation?
And, on a more political level, it's not going to help him when the parents of those children come to find out that their kids are getting the shaft at LUPS, take their kids out of LUPS, and no longer support the development group. Because without the money raised by the pretty much middle class development group, and beyond money, all the help we provide, the school would be in big trouble.
It's a huge problem to which there seems to be no solution beyond moving to a state that actually supports public education.
Like Finland, I suppose.
It was an interesting conversation, though, and one that doesn't often happen. No one wants to talk about the fact that there are some very different kids with very different needs at that school, and that no one is getting all the help they need.
M insisted that she take regular Bio this year instead of AP. It seemed perfectly reasonable -- AP was going to be a lot of work. But the option to AP is a class where the only thing that happens day after day is that the kids throw clay at each other when they're supposed to be making molecules, which they've already done anyone once before in the semester because they have a new teacher because the old teacher could not handle the kids and left.
I told her she's taking AP Chem next year. Better to get a C and actually learn something than to spend 5 hours a week learning nothing at all.
But shouldn't there be an option in between? I'm sorry that there are kids who can't be controlled, or that there aren't teachers who possess the skills to be able to teach a very mixed group of kids. And it's a social problem -- it should be important to our society to actually educate children, and teachers should be paid a lot more, and should have training to equip them for an extremely difficult job. I'm all in favor of having everyone graduate from high school prepared to go on to college, which is the stated mission of LUPS. But when what that means in actual fact is that my kid has 45 kids in her latin class and a bio class where she learns nothing, I'm not sure what I think.
I guess I think it's a mess.
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