Monday, November 13, 2006

I hate the New York Times.

From a story on people who moved out of New York City in order to send their children to superior public schools, but were dissappointed.

"Susan Drews, 49, who lives in Yorktown Heights, in Westchester, said that art in the first grade at her son’s public school, for instance, involved “half-baked projects” like gold-sprayed macaroni glued to paper plates. “People went through the motions, they could claim there was an art program, but I didn’t feel it was very rich,” she said."

Macaroni Pictures? In first grade? Criminal! He should be learning to mix his own egg tempera for frescoes, preferably with historically appropriate yet completely secular contextual references to the cloistered Italian monks who developed the technique. He's six years old, after all.

"Diane Morash, 42, said she switched her three teenage daughters to the Pingry School, in northern New Jersey, after the oldest, Katie, a straight-A student who was not into clothes or makeup, became excluded from social cliques at her public school. Mrs. Morash said that complaining to officials there did not help."

So she complained to the administration because her daughter didn't have any friends (or enough friends, or the right friends...) and they didn't do anything about it. Tragic. I wonder what her reaction would be if her daughter were confronted by an authority figure over her choice of friends.

This quote seems to be a more rational complaint:

'“He didn’t learn anything — I was a neurotic mess,” she said. “He was developing all sorts of bad habits. He thought school was playtime. He didn’t want to apply himself.”'

Until you realize that the student in question is a kindergartener. For a five year old, the best possible result is to think that school is playtime. I'd be terrified if he did want to apply himself. I wonder how this mother came to realize that her son was failing to work hard and press his little nose to the grindstone; did she interrogate him when he got home? Parse crayon drawings for meaning and progress?

Parents "complained about what they considered rigid curriculums, excessive standardized testing", which ought to be no surprise when they chose the school systems they did because it was a "relatively well-off district whose students consistently outscore their peers on state tests."

Jesus christ.


Paul said...

I read this article, and I blame New Yorkism. It's a lot like Benningtonism, if you can recall it, of which a symptom is always wanting to go for Indian food. New Yorkism is a vague sort of competition, masquerading as "wanting the best for" someone or something, and eventually revealing itself for the shitbird one-upmanship it is. Manhattanites suffer it the worst, because they believe they're privileged enough to have The Best (as opposed to The best), and they're so many so close together as to breed subcultures. Like the assholes who demand a specific brand of free beer at their art openings. "You don't have Amstel Light?" IT'S FREE, ASSHOLE!

Same thing with their kids. "You don't have advanced placement courses in third grade?" HE'S IN THIRD GRADE, ASSHOLE!

I love this city, but I sure as FUCK hate a lot of the people in it.

HoboHermit said...

I almost did this about their review of Domino's new Brooklyn Style Pizza, instead of education.

Anyone who is surprised that a Dominos product does not actually resemble anything that it purports to be is either too fundamentally elitist to live...

or too fundamentally sheltered to live.

I'm less concerned with whether or not, or why Domino's pizza actually resembles any pizza actually served or eaten by anyone in or near Brooklyn...and more concerned with whether or not or why the 'Sausage' topping on all Domino's pizzas, everywhere, resembles no sausage eaten by anyone, anywhere.

Roger Williams said...

Iowahawk nailed it.