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Monday, July 14, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 11/27/2001

Problem with schools has roots in society

As an ex-science teacher, I felt I should respond to the editorial “Science Skills Critical.” The title itself is misleading, because it bemoans reports of dropping proficiency test scores as if they are the sole measure of scientific ability.

Instead of wringing our hands, it would be much more productive to look into why schools are failing, not just in science, but in all subjects. The problem has to do with American society, for two reasons:

1. School is not really positively reinforced in popular culture. Excelling in school, especially in math, science, and literacy, is not portrayed favorably by popular culture via the mass media, the only true role model most young people have today. It's ironic that it is in these subjects that society demands the most of our students.

Instead, school is seen as a place to socialize, find a boyfriend or girlfriend, and to be cool or try to fit in to a social group. It is also something to be rebelled against, mocked, or just plain avoided. Those with science or math skills are portrayed as undesirable geeks or nerds.

2. Our capitalist economy, which is supported by compulsory education laws, demands that 100 percent of the students do well at the subjects they are forced to take (i.e. math, science, and literacy). In addition, its competitive nature obsessively requires that the United States always be “the best” at these disciplines. Meeting these demands is simply impossible.

“National interests” demand productive and efficient workers trained to enter a technologically based economy, and not happy, fit, emotionally balanced, and socially aware graduates. The Blade states “... improvements increase the demand for skilled scientists to move the nation forward, not to mention the need for science experts to address the threat of bio-terrorism.” See what I mean?

TONY PINK

West Alexis Road

Some people equate the game of football to the game of life. Both have challenges that must be overcome and dealt with. Rules are a part of the game that must be followed in order to be successful. Such as in life, if you break the rules, you will be penalized.

How is it then, when an athlete breaks these rules, he is penalized in so many different ways? Steve Bellisari, Ohio State University's quarterback and team captain, was suspended for drunken driving.

UCLA quarterback Cory Paus was allowed to play against USC despite four days in jail for driving under the influence, his second offense in 15 months!

And, how is it that a candidate for the University of Toledo's athletic director position, who was charged with DUI, is allowed to apply for such a position - one which leads by example for the student athletes to follow?

Are there standards and playing rules? Seemingly not!

GARY KREFT

Strathmoor Avenue

Linda Bowles is one of your finest columnists and there is not a hate-filled bone in her body. Those who so thoroughly despise her conservative views have several liberal columnists to read instead, but it seems that they want a conservative writer with liberal views, and they won't be satisfied until she conforms to their liberal morals or is sacked!

MARY HILEMAN

Glenwood Avenue



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