Maybe school’s just not our nation’s thing

“After years of watching it struggle to perform academically in nearly every area of study, U.S. education officials told reporters Wednesday they have begun to think maybe school just isn’t the nation’s thing,” reports The Onion.

“When it comes down to it, school isn’t for everyone,” said Education Secretary John King Jr. “Every country learns in its own way,” he continued. “And that’s okay.”

Critics hurt U.S. schools’ self-esteem

Criticizing the U.S. education system “lowers its confidence and causes it to perform even more poorly,” concludes a Stanford study reported in The Onion.

OK, Finnish students ace the international tests. Who cares?

OK, Finnish students ace the international tests. Talking about it just makes us feel bad.

Harping on U.S. students’ substandard math and science skills is correlated with steady declines in math and science test scores on international exams, researchers said.

“We should focus on what our institutions of learning are doing well, provide them with positive support, and let them know that we care about their future and that we know they can succeed,” said lead author Julie Ostel.

Marketers still trying to reach inner-city child

Nation’s Marketers Only People Still Trying To Reach Inner-City Child, reports The Onion. Marketers hope to understand Derek Crawford of  Kansas City, Missouri, so they can influence his decisions as he grows older.

(They have) demonstrated more interest in Crawford than any teacher, social worker, policymaker, nonprofit organization, or government agency has during his entire life.

. . . marketing firms have reportedly devoted enough resources to know precisely which area of the city he inhabits, his favorite music, how he spends his free time, which athletes he looks up to, his preferred soda flavors, the TV shows he watches, and the websites he visits. Similarly, sources said, the marketers have access to far more data than educators do on where Crawford is and what he is doing on the days when he is absent from school.

TapSource Partners, a small marketing group in Los Angeles representing major soft drink and snack clients, confirmed that it had “spent 10 times as much money as every after-school program, outreach organization, and social service provider in the young teenager’s community.”

Onion: Teacher fired for learning more from students than vice versa

From the Onion: A teacher is fired for “gross incompetence” after declaring, “I just love being around the students—I honestly think I get more out of these classes than the kids do.” She adds, “I learn something new from them each and every day. They teach me so much—far more than I could ever teach them.”

This brings to mind a (real) quote from Michael John Demiashkevich’s Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (1935):

An old schoolmaster dedicated his book to all his old pupils, at whose expense, he said, he had learned everything he knew about education. This is either a case of exaggerated modesty or it is a belated confession of incompetence. It is necessary to distinguish strictly between broadmindedness and ignorance.

I suspect, though, that the Onion teacher was really fired for her use of fluffy phrases like “so much,” “honestly think,” and “each and every day.” If she had said, simply, “I enjoy learning from the students as well as teaching them,” she might still have her imaginary job, and she could still learn “something,” or even “a lot.”

Parents euthanize brain-dead teen

From The Onion: The parents of a brain-dead 13-year old have decided on euthanasia, saying their daughter is only capable of rolling her eyes, texting and whining about things being “gay.”

“She’s totally unresponsive when we talk to her,” says Caitlin Teagart’s mother. “Her eyes just roll back in her head.”

Grad: My parents can’t pay my debt

Man Doesn’t Know How Parents Ever Going To Pay Off Massive Student Loan Debt, reports The Onion. The parents of Wesleyan graduate Zach Wallace owe $40,000 for his film studies degree, the 23-year-old unpaid intern told reporters. “My God, they’ll be lucky if they’re able to pay this off while they’re still in their 70s,” said Wallace.

“The student loan system takes advantage of a lot of parents who simply don’t realize what they’re getting into. Then four years later it’s like, ‘Welcome to the real world, Mom and Dad!’” Citing the present trend of tuition hikes and stagnant wages, Wallace added that his parents might well be forced into bankruptcy by the time he has completed a decent Ph.D. program.

Meanwhile, they’re struggling to make minimum monthly payments and pay his rent.

 

All parenting produces unhappy adults

Every parenting style produces disturbed, miserable adults, according to a new study reported by The Onion.

“Our research suggests that while overprotective parenting ultimately produces adults unprepared to contend with life’s difficulties, highly permissive parenting leads to feelings of bitterness and isolation throughout adulthood,” lead researcher Daniel Porter said. “And, interestingly, we found that anything between those two extremes is equally damaging, always resulting in an adult who suffers from some debilitating combination of unpreparedness and isolation.”

However, “adults often achieve temporary happiness when they have children of their own to perpetuate the cycle of human misery.”

 

Nation’s students to give schools another chance

Nation’s Students To Give American Education System Yet Another Chance, reports The Onion.

WASHINGTON—Despite years of putting up with underperforming teachers, overcrowded classrooms, and a gradually deteriorating educational experience, American students reluctantly announced Tuesday that they would be giving the nation’s public school system yet another chance this fall.

Students conceded they’d “probably kick themselves later” for deciding to enroll once more in a system that has let them down time and time again.

 

Nation’s schools will repeat the year

“Having continued to display learning deficits and a failure to reach basic educational milestones, the nation’s school systems will be asked to repeat the academic year,” reports The Onion.

“We know this is disappointing news, but we believe it’s for the best,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who pointed out that many underperforming schools glide under the radar for years without achieving any kind of proficiency in math, reading, or science. “An extra year will give America’s school systems some time to get a better handle on the subject matter so they can catch up with the other nations.”

This is satire.

Civics teachers dispatched to D.C.

With Congress deadlocked on raising the debt ceiling, “a special team of 40 eighth-grade civics teachers was air-dropped into Washington in a last-ditch effort to teach congressional leaders how the government’s legislative process works,” reports The Onion.

“We started them off with the basics, like the difference between a senator and a representative, and then moved on to more complex concepts, like what a resolution is,” Bozeman, MT social studies teacher Heidi Rossmiller told reporters as all 535 members of Congress copied down the definition of “checks and balances” from a whiteboard in the House chamber. “It’s been a bit of an uphill battle, since most of them seemed to have no real sense of how or why a bill is passed, and Sen. [Harry] Reid [D-NV] had to come up to me during a break and ask, ‘Ms. Rossmiller, what happens if Congress can’t reach a compromise?’ But hopefully it will all start to sink in soon.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) stormed out of a lecture on bipartisan cooperation, claiming it was “too hard,” reports The Onion, which is a satirical publication.