Fail of Your Day


I think it’s also that our education system is so poor in so many places that people can’t understand the news. They don’t have the vocabulary and weren’t taught base concepts, and culturally aren’t taught to think, in fact thinking is discouraged. I’ve been on rants about the rural south before but in many places down here thinking and curiosity are met with perplexion at best and most often hostility.


It’s not even that. They don’t consume it. At all.

Most people don’t look at news on a regular basis. Especially not political news. They just don’t consume news.

But yes, the problem you describe is also a major problem. Especially since we’ve concentrated poor schooling in the areas that need it the most =(


You know, seeing you say that about the US almost makes me upset, but I’ve been spending almost 6 months deprogramming Chinese students. The fact that their “history” books are so biased does make it easier.


We were talking about this a bit on Facebook, IIRC, where internationally, the Moon landing is looked at as a massinve group effort, but in the US it’s taught as USA 1 everyone else 0.


No no that’s my point I think a lot of people don’t consume because they can’t (or think they can’t) understand and thus don’t bother. I’m sure a lot of people could understand and just don’t bother as well because of I’ve got mine mentality.


True story: I was in the process of enrolling in a program to study abroad in Japan when we moved from suburban Upstate New York to rural Virginia when I was 17. When my mom and I met with the guidance counselor at my new school to make arrangements about credits and being away for a semester, the first thing out of the counselor’s mouth was “…why? Why would you go all the way to Japan? What for? No one’s ever done that before.”


I know that feel, but for none of those reasons. I applied for foreign study through the Key Club and got denied because I said that I had tried alcohol in a family setting (at ~12 years old). I know the feeling of being told no for bullshit reasons.


I wasn’t denied anything the administration just had no idea what to do with me. But wtf like every kid has sneaked a taste of something at some point, that’s super bullshit.


I didn’t learn anything in school in 5th and most of 6th grade. Not one thing.

I’d been at a Catholic school previously, and it was in every subject (except evolutionary science…) a year or more ahead of the public schools. So my education basically reset for a year and a half.

I remember asking if I could just be put in 7th or 8th grade, and the school guidance counselor called me an elitist.


How do people from other countries feel when their families move to the US. Other than the language barrier holding the back, they are like 4+ grades ahead.


It tends to vary from state to state and even town to town, so it’s extra complicated. I haven’t seen the statistics in a while, but some states do (or did when I saw the statistics) have average education quality that is equivalent (or at least in the ballpark) of what you’d fine on some of the wealthier countries in Europe and Asia. Needless to say, it’s the blue states that tend to do better in this regard, with the bluer the state, the better it tends to be.

Curt Schilling (yes, he turned out to be an asshole, but that’s besides the point here) told the story of what happened with his kids when he joined the Red Sox. At least for the first few years in Boston, he spent the baseball season in Massachusetts and went back to Arizona for the off-season. He talked about how the Massachusetts schools were so much more advanced than the Arizona schools and how his kids were actually set back when they returned to Massachusetts after spending the off-season in Arizona.

Edit: Here’s a site that lets you compare school districts with those in other advanced countries:

It turns out that the district I happen to live in scores pretty well compared to the world at large. However, a random district in Arizona (Avondale Elementary in Maricopa County) scores quite poorly.


One thing I think is important nobodies mentioned is the people who consume loads of news. News being fox and talk radio.

While they tell what is technically the truth, like, the facts they say like, names, places and, dates etc. are accurate. They’re just so huge on spin and opinion that in the eyes of the consumers of this propaganda, they’re the good guys.

In their own minds they’re not against PoC, they’re only against illegal immigration. It’s frustrating to talk about, and write about and it’s a part of why I’ve taken a step back lately.

The things people said in 2016 were true. I’m tired of fighting with family. It’s easier to just leave.


Probably a lot like I did when I moved to Virginia and was told I didn’t have to go to school any more if I didn’t want to and get a ‘Standard’ diploma with a 10th grade education from a pretty average surburban New York school.


It’s not just between “Blue” states and “Red” States. When I graduated from my private Jewish Day School in 8th grade, and went to a public high school in 9th grade, I was advanced in enough subjects that the guidance counselor asked my parents and me if I wanted to skip a year and come into the school as a sophomore.

Ultimately, we decided I should enter as a freshman and just take advanced classes, but this wasn’t a rural Virginia school, this was a very well off suburban school outside of Albany, NY, that had won the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, for whatever that’s worth.

Additionally, in my old Hebrew Day School, we spend half the day on Hebrew and Biblical subjects and the other half of the day on “normal” subjects. People from my Jewish Day School literally spent half as much time on English, Social Studies, Math, Sciences, etc, but most of us were still advanced compared to our still-good public school counterparts. It really makes me wonder what the public schools are doing wrong/differently.


It’s a whole mix of things. One factor that tends to drag nearly all public schools down is that by law they need to accept all comers: special needs students, the physically and mentally challenged, discipline problems, impoverished students, etc.

Private schools can pretty much pick and choose who they want. They also generally have students with higher income families as you need some more income to be able to afford tuition, etc.

There are only so many resources to go around for public schools and having to also deal with students who, by their very nature, need more resources and support than average doesn’t help.


I totally get all that, and that’s a huge and legitimate difference. At the same time though, I literally spent half my school day learning Hebrew and studying the Talmud, and I still came out ahead of my public school counterparts. The gap just seems to be too big.


Well, your Hebrew Day School just might have been that awesome too. I went to a private Catholic school for grades 2-5 and it held me back relative to the public schools in my town. Part of the issue was that the school was so small (only one class per grade level) that they really couldn’t do much to differentiate students based on their skill levels: everyone pretty much learned at the pace of the slowest students in class.


I have a distinct memory of my first class at Boston Latin in 9th grade being World History and having come from 8 grades of Catholic school, realizing that they hadn’t discussed the origin of humanity beyond the Garden of Eden. My teacher was graceful enough in handling it, saying that the Garden of Eden may well have been in Africa, but I was definitely behind in that aspect. I also never ever got good at writing papers/essays longer than a page unless I was particularly passionate about a project because in Catholic school I had literally never done so, and Boston Latin assumed you knew going in.


The Talmud and learning Hebrew might have been an advantage. Correct me if I’m wrong but the Talmud is full of philosophical, ethical, legal etc… ponderings of rabbis and not just here’s the rules deal with it and so builds a foundation of thinking and consideration instead of acceptance. And the advantages of learning another language at a young age is widely known.


Good faith questions:

Were the class sizes comparable to public schools?
Were the quality of learning materials (text books and such) of comparable quality?
Was there a culture of school being important in both places?

I’ve been to quite a few schools, public and private, though never religious. One thing that struck me at all the american schools I went to was this ‘too cool for school’ attitude that got you in with the cool kids. It was more prevalent at my public middle school than at my magnet middle school.

At my public high school, the school was so big, you could get lost. Like literally I could skip class bu just like, walking around. I’d never see the same person twice and everyone’d just assume I was on my way to a bathroom.