January 21, 2008

Dumbing Down Colorado Students

Except for the legal profession, which doesn't mind appearing to have devolved itself into little more than a sophisticated organized theft ring acting under the color of law, few well paying professions operate without a core background in math.

Engineers start at $80,000 or more a year. Personnel managers at $30,000 if they are lucky; New journalists are lucky to get $20,000. Doctors, who use a lot of math to get past the Chemistry courses, can start at $150,000. Musicians, except Rock Stars, live in poverty.

We were amazed to find a reference to Bill Ritter's new education proposal and a quote from one of his advisers:

Ritter's proposal, under discussion for weeks with school leaders, is equivalent to taking the education system apart and putting it back together.

Instead of passing a set number of courses to graduate, students would have to demonstrate competency in key areas, such as math or English.

And students might pick up those competencies in new ways - learning math, for example, as part of a career education course in computers.

"What's in Algebra II that's so important?" said Matt Gianneschi, Ritter's education adviser. "How can it be delivered in high school? Does it need to be in a course called 'Algebra II?'

Can you see a Chemistry teacher being forced to teach a junior how to solve for a variable in an equation before he tries to teach the Chemistry? When music teachers and lawyers are put in charge of education, we get some really dumb outcomes. Right Michael Merrifield? Right Bill Ritter?

We discovered this little gem when the Rocky published a letter to the editor about it.

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