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"Last Tuesday morning, tens of thousands of public school students across

New York took the Regents Examination in Global History and Geography. One

of the two essays in the 3-hour exam required students to discuss the

'economic, social, and/or political reasons for wars' as well as the

'expected outcomes and the unexpected outcomes of wars.'

 

Many of the essays were soul-searching and penetrating. In the panic of

the exam, however, students also wrote these responses:

 

--------------------------------------------

 

As the phrase goes, there are two sides to every coin, and in this case,

the coin is war. Political ideas are stupid; one little thing and everyone

goes crazy. Often people may disagree on something that is stupid and can

be settled by a simple ballet. If you do not show love for one's country

and history, some people might have difficulties dealing with that, and

you might just get your head chopped off, or something crazy.

 

The Cursades were also known as Holly Wars. The holy wars are going right

now between Christians and Jews. They are fighting over Jerusalem because

Christ was born there. Some people fight for the sheer joy of beating on

someone. WWI was supposed to be the war to end all wars. But as people

soon came to know, that was not how it went down. After WWI, Germany was

forced to pay repetitions. Unexpectedly, Hitler rose to be leader off

Germany by creating a certain look: the Aryan look (Blue eyes, blond

hair). Hitler made Europe very Nazimist. Iraq was a social, political and

economic treat to the world.

 

The expected outcomes for war should always be good for both countries.

But because there are so many different tribes in Africa when Gandhi ruled

the Muslims and the Indians who lived in India, the country was split into

two countries: modern day India and Iraq.

 

War is stupid."

 

EDIT: just to clarify - this is not meant to be a post about war or politics, it's a post about the sorry state of affairs in the level of education in our high schools.

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"Last Tuesday morning, tens of thousands of public school students across New York took the Regents Examination in Global History and Geography. One of the two essays in the 3-hour exam required stu

My HS graduating class was about 500. When FB reared its ugly head, I became "friends" with many of those who I had not been in touch with for years. For me it was anthropologically interesting to see

I still don't see what point is being made. That there are some high school students who don't pay attention in class (if they even show up)?

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EDIT: just to clarify - this is not meant to be a post about war or politics, it's a post about the sorry state of affairs in the level of education in our high schools.

 

Not a very good indication. How many of those thousands of essays were of this quality?

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My small firm (about 100 employees) has instituted a business skills course for new college hires. The emphasis is on clear, declarative writing. We hire very few high school grads, but they go into the same course

 

When I was in high school, a million years ago, we wrote paragraphs and essays several times daily. In English, German, Spanish, Latin, etc. Based on what I see now, that is no longer a requirement in most places.

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When I was in high school, a million years ago, we wrote paragraphs and essays several times daily. In English, German, Spanish, Latin, etc. Based on what I see now, that is no longer a requirement in most places.

Nor do students have to diagram sentences any more. And they don't study the conjugation of verbs, either.

 

So if they can't figure out whether to use think, thank or thunk, they have no little ditty to fall back on.

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By the way, last night I read a chapter in a study of R.S. Thomas's poetry in which the author attempted a brief summary of philosophical treatments of God, from Descartes, through Hume to Kant. It was about the level of that essay, although beautifully spelled/spelt. And published by Harper Collins. Appalling. Example from memory: In his book, Discours de la Methode, Descartes coined the famous cogito - "Je pense, donc je suis." * :)

 

*Not a post about theology (etc)...

 

I am not shocked. I taught twenty to twenty four year olds (roughly) at one of Britiain's top four universities.

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Four different answers from four different kids. All seniors in high school (at the end of senior year).

 

These students have taken history as a high school subject. If they were paying attention, and there was a section on WWII and its aftermath, no reason why they shouldn't know about reparations.

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I remember undergraduate essays which used to begin "Plato was a famous Greek philosopher who lived a very long time ago..."

 

Imagine with what derisive irony I would place a tick in the margin.

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