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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rewarding Everyone

Today will be my last class of PC Repair, at least for this semester.  And I should be getting an A in the class.  I only took two classes this semester, but made certain that I got an A in each of them.  I studied and studied and read the expensive books I had to buy and earned my grades.  I’m not quite ready to get a degree yet, but once I am, I will have earned it!  But there are some idiots here in town who think you should still be part of a graduation even if you don’t earn it!
Apparently a lot of students here in Clark County (That’s the county where Las Vegas and Henderson are located in the state of Nevada) have been traditionally allowed to go through graduation and receive a “certificate of attendance” or something like that if they don’t pass some state proficiency test and qualify to graduate from high school. 
Now the graduation rate in Clark County is pretty low.  I guess Nevada ranks around #49 out of the 50 states in education.  Hard to believe that there is a state dumber than Nevada.  I can now understand why when I go to a McDonald’s the kid running the cash register screws up my order, or why the kid running the register at Walmart can’t figure out how to count change back to me if I pay in cash.
Now I’ve heard all the arguments about how some people aren’t good taking tests, and how it’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid, and how it’s not right to let some kid go to a graduation with his friends just because he or she didn’t pass some test.  But I’ve also been told that they start giving these proficiency tests in the sophomore year of high school and the kids have three years to pass them.  THREE YEARS!  If you fail the first time, they can put you in special classes to help you study to take the exam again.  There are tutors and you can easily find the things you need to study for these exams.  And the students are given chance after chance to re-take failed portions, but people don’t think their kids need to do that.
Why work hard for something when you can just get it for nothing?  So many parents are upset saying “My kid deserves this” and “My kid deserves that”.  Your kid deserves the chance to succeed, but if you don’t do the work, you don’t deserve the rewards!  What the hell happened?  When did we become a bunch of whiners who think you should get a reward just for participation?

So what do these kids tell an employer when they’re trying to get a job and they are asked if they’ve graduated from high school?  Do they proudly show their certificate of attendance and say they went to school once in a while?  “Yeah, I was there to see all my friends.  I may show up at work once in a while, but don’t expect much from me.”  Would you hire someone who said this?  I guess some places have.  You don’t want mom and dad suing your company for discrimination against your kid because he didn’t graduate!
The whole controversy now is that the school district will no longer allow these under achievers to attend the graduations and get their “certificate of attendance”.  I saw one woman ranting that her kid had a “3.4” grade point average, and should still be allowed to graduate even though she didn’t pass the proficiency tests.  That makes me wonder how she got such an average in the first place.  Did she cheat?  Or take classes like “How to unbutton a shirt”?  How does the girl have a high grade point average without being able to pass basic proficiency tests?  I know we want to protect our children, but come on!
I think the school district is doing the right thing.  Can you imagine after a few law suits colleges having to hand out certificates of attendance during actual college degree ceremonies?  Maybe we can have hospitals full of doctors who didn’t pass any exams, but were registered at a medical school and have an attendance certificate from there?  You can have a fire department full of fireman who may, or may not show up if your house is on fire.  They have a certificate of attendance and may, or may not feel like actually fighting fires. 
We already have shops full of cashiers who need a calculator because I’m trying to buy one watermelon that’s on sale 2 for $10 and the clerk can’t figure out how much to charge me for just one.  Must we keep dumbing down our society?  I’m glad I went back to college and am proud of the grades I will receive for this semester.  And I’m proud to have actually earned my grades.
Don’t bother trying to rant away at me about what your child deserves or doesn’t deserve.  I don’t care.  When I enlisted in the Air Force you had to be a high school graduate.  Not a high school “attendee”, but a GRADUATE!  I had to give an actual copy of my diploma to my recruiter.  I had to earn my way in.  And even if they allow kids to enlist without graduating, you’ll have to actually pass Air Force school courses to get a good military career assignment.  Also keep in mind the Air Force tests for you to get promoted past a certain rank.  No “certificate of attendance” for that! 
Ok, my rant about this is over.  I just thought I’d write a bit about what was going on here.  I’ll go back to reading the other news stories about drunk drivers, shootings, and stabbings now.  While I’m doing that, take a look at a clip from the movie Idiocracy.  This is where we’re headed.

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