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Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation (Commentary)

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The Chinese government does not want more than a small percentage of its population to be prosperous, for cultural reasons.  Like their predecesors, they believe in a small elite supported by great masses.[/color]

 

I'm no sinologist, but this strikes me a comically cartoonish depiction of the Chinese government. 

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I propose that we banish the word "welfare" from these discussions.  Just too non-specific to be of much use.  Also, the discussions about who "welfare" recipients are strike me as of very minor significance.  TANF is an incredibly small budgetary item (massively overestimated in size by many people) and a surprisingly small share of poor families, even poor families with children, receive TANF.  I honestly feel like it's 1995 again reading this part of the thread.  Maybe we can discuss acid rain next.

 

I still think we need it as a category, because it's more than one specific program.  There's TANF, yes, but there's SNAP, and Section 8, and home heating assistance, and a lot of other programs here and there that all have the same general purpose: income support.  I lump those all together under "welfare" for lack of a similarly succinct word.

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^Like how despite recent mass shootings, violent crime is down, down, down since 1990, in large part because the EPA banned lead in 1974.  Crime started dropping immediately as the first wave of "unleaded" kids became "crime age".  The NRA doesn't want you to know that so you buy a gun for your pillow and pay for conceal carry lessons.

 

Another problem is that crime in the suburban, exurban, rural and small town areas where Republicans live has exploded as compared to say the '70s. The crime has moved out there for various reasons including light police patrol and lack of witnesses. So they become obsessed with crime because their four wheelers are always getting stolen. Because crime is happening all around them they think the cities are still like that too.

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public assistance

 

Too generic.  EITC could be public assistance but not welfare, for example.  Actually, a lot of government programs (for corporations, universities, individuals, and more) could be public assistance but not welfare.

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I propose that we banish the word "welfare" from these discussions.  Just too non-specific to be of much use.  Also, the discussions about who "welfare" recipients are strike me as of very minor significance.  TANF is an incredibly small budgetary item (massively overestimated in size by many people) and a surprisingly small share of poor families, even poor families with children, receive TANF.  I honestly feel like it's 1995 again reading this part of the thread.  Maybe we can discuss acid rain next.

 

I still think we need it as a category, because it's more than one specific program.  There's TANF, yes, but there's SNAP, and Section 8, and home heating assistance, and a lot of other programs here and there that all have the same general purpose: income support.  I lump those all together under "welfare" for lack of a similarly succinct word.

 

Right, but I think that expansive definition is at odds with the "on the street" definition of cash payments made to people unwilling or unable to find employment.  Which I think sews confusion.  Are Social Security benefits to elderly people who have long since collected in excess of their contributions welfare?  Why is public housing/Section 8 "welfare" when the mortgage interest deduction isn't?  After all, the typical upper middle/high income household receives far more federal housing assistance than the typical low income renter.

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Gramarye, my last post was unhelpful.  I understand your point.  I just think using terms like "welfare" in many contexts end up confusing matters because the various programs are all structured so differently, with very different eligibility requirements and effective marginal tax rates.  And which programs you refer to any one time probably depends on the context of the discussion: e.g., fairness, disincentives to work, fostering dependence, budgetary burden, etc.  And different policy goals are often at odds in different ways.  One reason the SNAP eligibility is set so "high" is to reduce the effective marginal tax rate of non-earners/very low earners, and thereby increase the incentive for many recipients to work. Which of course bumps up against budget and fairness, in some people's eyes.

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^Like how despite recent mass shootings, violent crime is down, down, down since 1990, in large part because the EPA banned lead in 1974.  Crime started dropping immediately as the first wave of "unleaded" kids became "crime age".  The NRA doesn't want you to know that so you buy a gun for your pillow and pay for conceal carry lessons.

 

Another problem is that crime in the suburban, exurban, rural and small town areas where Republicans live has exploded as compared to say the '70s. The crime has moved out there for various reasons including light police patrol and lack of witnesses. So they become obsessed with crime because their four wheelers are always getting stolen. Because crime is happening all around them they think the cities are still like that too.

 

A factor perhaps as pertinent:  the areas people moved *from* have much higher crime rates than they used to.  Slavic Village, some west side areas, and Maple Heights come to mind.  The latter I know best, because I lived there almost my entire life.  The local “police blotter” stories changed, spreading from east to west, from comparatively innocent stuff to the types of things you’d expect from the inner city.

 

It does seem to be the case that the newer “transition” neighborhoods have increases in crime, while the more traditional “dangerous neighborhoods” actually get safer.  If so, this is easily explained:  the criminals come from a more transitory group that gets evicted and/or trashes where they live, and moves out to newly available places. 

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^Actually, if you talk to the cops in these non-urban areas, they will tell you about the drug explosion which is causing most of the crimes.  The spread of meth (which you don't find in the inner-city or being used by the types that fit the 'urban' stereotype) is full-throttle.  I'd highly recommend the movie "Winter's Bone", which was set in the Ozarks and dealt with the growing impact of meth on rural areas.  But, perhaps even more impactful, Heroin is back in a BIG way.  Again, that is not a drug you find being used or dealt by your stereotypical inner-city criminal.

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>Why are people collecting social security allowed to vote?

 

Aw shucks I was hoping an incendiary comment could really get this place stirred up...

 

 

>Heroin

 

Yeah I've seen people whose photo they'd put in the college guidebook (do they still make those?) suddenly get into it and disappear.  Other people seem to remain functional. 

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But, perhaps even more impactful, Heroin is back in a BIG way.  Again, that is not a drug you find being used or dealt by your stereotypical inner-city criminal.

 

Used, maybe not.  Dealt?  Very much so.  But good point about the impact of drugs.

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Much, much more typically, it is dealt by people who don't fit that stereotype.  That's not to say you can't find it in the inner-city, but you're just as or probably more likely to find it being dealt in the burbs.

 

Speaking of stereotypes.... shouldn't you be using a red font on your posts?

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Much, much more typically, it is dealt by people who don't fit that stereotype.  That's not to say you can't find it in the inner-city, but you're just as or probably more likely to find it being dealt in the burbs.

 

Speaking of stereotypes.... shouldn't you be using a red font on your posts?

 

I'm no communist!    :evil:

 

Seriously, I quit using the bold and use the deep blue because it's not as loud (except on HS football fora where maroon is a must).  It's an old forum trick to use a different color to spot your own comments easily.  I still use bold brown on scout.com.

 

You'll find it anywhere and everywhere.  But the people with the connections control the supply, and they are the most ruthless ones in the business.  It was that way during Prohibition, and it's that way now.

 

Meth is different because it can be manufactured.

 

 

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Lying to ourselves about "American Exceptionalism" only leads to ignorance and an unexceptional America. Or so this article suggests...

 

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/28/9_basic_concepts_americans_fail_to_grasp_partner/


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Oh, and we may have cornered the global market on idiotic politicians according to this piece The Guardian

 

http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2015/apr/02/democracy-psychology-idiots-election?CMP=fb_gu


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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If anyone not in America suggest that only American politicians are idiots, I suggest that either (a) that person has not taken a hard enough look at his own country's politicians, or (b) that person lives in a country in which you can go to jail for criticizing the ruling regime.

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If anyone not in America suggest that only American politicians are idiots, I suggest that either (a) that person has not taken a hard enough look at his own country's politicians, or (b) that person lives in a country in which you can go to jail for criticizing the ruling regime.

 

P.J. O'Rourke once observed that he mispredicted the elections where the Sandinistas got booted because he gave credence to opinion polls in a nation where it was illegal to hold certain opinions.

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We sure do like to pretend we're the only democracy. And you have to admit that some of our politicians have been such blathering idiots that they get more attention and create a stereotype (GWB, Pelosi, Palin, Reid, Bachmann et al).

 

Point is, a smaller percentage of Americans than Europeans or Asians travel outside their country and are very insular and ignorant of the world. What could Americans, who are brain-washed into thinking they are exceptional, learn from other people and countries? Yet ignorant voters produced by America's substandard schools continue to elect ignorant leaders who make decisions regarding foreign affairs, and our international horror shows are a direct result.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Point is, a smaller percentage of Americans than Europeans or Asians travel outside their country and are very insular and ignorant of the world. What could Americans, who are brain-washed into thinking they are exceptional, learn from other people and countries? Yet ignorant voters produced by America's substandard schools continue to elect ignorant leaders who make decisions regarding foreign affairs, and our international horror shows are a direct result.

 

Do you assume that someone who travels extensively to other countries would be more likely to agree with you on foreign policy?  Do you really think you learn more about other countries by traveling there for vacation (when you're going to enjoy it, not to actually learn about their political issues) than you do by actually investigating issues directly, even if just from your home computer?  Don't get me wrong, I think there is much that we can learn from other countries (particularly in terms of mistakes to avoid, but also in terms of some practices to emulate), but suggesting it's because we don't travel there enough seems wide of the mark.

 

And is it we who are brainwashed into still believing in America's founding vision, or is it you who are brainwashed into rejecting it and treating us like just one more name on the U.N. membership list, no different from Uruguay or Uzbekistan?

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Point is, a smaller percentage of Americans than Europeans or Asians travel outside their country and are very insular and ignorant of the world. What could Americans, who are brain-washed into thinking they are exceptional, learn from other people and countries?

 

To be fair, America is essentially a continent, comprised of North America.  Our only borders are with Mexico & Canada, not terribly different from our culture, certainly not along border cities.  In Europe you can travel as easily to Germany/Italy/Spain as we travel to Florida/New York/Chicago.  Traveling to experience other foreign cultures requires a 12+ hr plane flight.  That's a big deal no matter who you are. 

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and according to this quick google search, we are still well ahead of most nations in terms of college education per capita

 

According to this list, we are 5th in the world.  Not exactly slumming.

 

Ahead of us are Russia, Canada, Israel, and Japan...

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,28021.msg751508/topicseen.html#new

 

And as long as we're still comparing US to other nations, Russia has a massive problem with alcoholism, people are literally drinking themselves to death.  And Japan has an enormous suicide rate among its young people.

 

So we've all got some things to work on.  But I'm still proud to be an American.  I guess by KJP's standards that means I'm brainwashed and a product of shitty schools

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I was once very alarmed about those education rankings and worried about their implications, too.  I always personally took education very seriously.  I still support considerable reforms to our education system, up to and including eliminating summer vacation.  However, over time, I've become less concerned, at least in terms of our place in those rankings being a sign of national decline.  It's rare for the high school valedictorian to truly flame out, but it's also quite common to find a surprising amount of business IQ and other leadership qualities in the middle ranks of the class at most midrange high schools (and some of our top students have no ambition to be entrepreneurs and CEOs).

 

The fate of our lower-tier high schools is an entirely separate matter and I don't mean to make light of the wasted potential in our poorer urban school districts, but it doesn't rise to the level of signaling national decline.

 

There's a lot wrong with our higher education system, too, but there's a lot right with it, too.

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^You know what they say about law school.  All the "A" students are professors.  All the "B" students are judges.  And all the "C" students are rich.  :-)

 

I personally have dealings with plenty of dumb rich folk.  Sometimes it is more about willingness to do what it takes to get rich than having the learned skills and knowledge to get rich.

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^You know what they say about law school.  All the "A" students are professors.  All the "B" students are judges.  And all the "C" students are rich.  :-)

 

The irony, I think, is that I've seen a lot of student's get A's not from superior reasoning, but from superior memory. In other words, they mostly regurgitate what professors want to hear without much thought process.

 

I'd much rather have a prof that either a) had/has real world experience or b) had to struggle a bit to get through the subject matter- like a normal person.

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^That would be a poor job on the prof's part in designing the examination.  I would say the bar exam is a lot about memory.  But the examinations should focus more on the analysis.

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^That would be a poor job on the prof's part in designing the examination.  I would say the bar exam is a lot about memory.  But the examinations should focus more on the analysis.

 

From an institutional strategy, the exams at my school were purposely tailored to emulate the bar exam. I just assumed that was the new thinking; to test toward the exam.

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^That would be a poor job on the prof's part in designing the examination.  I would say the bar exam is a lot about memory.  But the examinations should focus more on the analysis.

 

From an institutional strategy, the exams at my school were purposely tailored to emulate the bar exam. I just assumed that was the new thinking; to test toward the exam.

 

Granted, I went to a school that scattered its graduates all over the place (and the primary market for UVA grads was DC, and the DC bar is like DC itself in that it will tell you you're wonderful and welcome no matter where you're from, but not really mean it unless the answer is "money"), but my exams were heavily analytical and certainly not tied to any given bar exam.  Memory alone would never be enough, and considering that all exams were open-book/open-note, wasn't even close to the most important thing.

 

Back on topic, a recent back-and-forth between a few pundits on the perennial obsession of American decline; I'm just posting the links because honestly, this handwringing and counter-handwringing is all stuff I've heard before at this point, and I'll wager that most people curious enough about this topic to click on this thread have heard it all before, too:

 

We're doomed!  http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/03/laughing-at-the-death-of-our-republic

 

No we're not!  http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/30/americas-death-is-greatly-exaggerated/

 

You didn't understand what I meant by "we're doomed!" http://thefederalist.com/2015/04/06/no-america-is-not-collapsing-like-the-roman-empire-did/

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I was once very alarmed about those education rankings and worried about their implications, too.  I always personally took education very seriously.  I still support considerable reforms to our education system, up to and including eliminating summer vacation.  However, over time, I've become less concerned, at least in terms of our place in those rankings being a sign of national decline.  It's rare for the high school valedictorian to truly flame out, but it's also quite common to find a surprising amount of business IQ and other leadership qualities in the middle ranks of the class at most midrange high schools (and some of our top students have no ambition to be entrepreneurs and CEOs).

 

The fate of our lower-tier high schools is an entirely separate matter and I don't mean to make light of the wasted potential in our poorer urban school districts, but it doesn't rise to the level of signaling national decline.

 

There's a lot wrong with our higher education system, too, but there's a lot right with it, too.

 

I attended a top ranked public high school in Iowa.  There were valedictorians (for some reason they honored a lot, maybe 10 out of a class of 500 or so).  I think most of them have just finished law school.

 

Some of my friends went on to University where they studied Journalism and are now writing for magazines, or they studied engineering and are now engineers, or they dropped out and work construction, or went on to medical school, or accounting and became accountants, etc. 

 

Some of the most successful people were in a rank which you said, middle of the class, nothing fancy, 3.0 GPA.  These people have landed nice jobs in management, sales, etc.  My older cousin told me after I graduated, good, you got a 3.0.  America is run by 3.0 students.  I think that is the case.  It is still all about who you know, and if you land with a good manager who is open to his process and how he does things, you can learn a ton.  Just have to be open to any and all possibilities and work hard.

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I attended a top ranked public high school in Iowa.  There were valedictorians (for some reason they honored a lot, maybe 10 out of a class of 500 or so).  I think most of them have just finished law school.

 

Some of my friends went on to University where they studied Journalism and are now writing for magazines, or they studied engineering and are now engineers, or they dropped out and work construction, or went on to medical school, or accounting and became accountants, etc. 

 

Some of the most successful people were in a rank which you said, middle of the class, nothing fancy, 3.0 GPA.  These people have landed nice jobs in management, sales, etc.  My older cousin told me after I graduated, good, you got a 3.0.  America is run by 3.0 students.  I think that is the case.  It is still all about who you know, and if you land with a good manager who is open to his process and how he does things, you can learn a ton.  Just have to be open to any and all possibilities and work hard.

 

first of all, it's absolutely preposterous that there are that many valedictorians in a single class--there should be only one. As for 3.0 being no big deal, that's because of rampant grade inflation. today's "B" is a "C" from forty years ago (if that). And academic standards were considerably more rigorous back then. No wonder millennials have such an inflated opinion of themselves.

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Heh.  I deliberately fudged my history above for just that reason.  Technically, I was a valedictorian with a GPA somewhere between 4.0 and 4.1, even though I was only 3rd in our class.  The true valedictorian went into the Air Force for a while (but not the Academy) and is now a 4th grade teacher in Wichita.  (The true salutatorian took a more traditional top-student path--she's now a pediatrician.)

 

But in terms of who's likely doing the best, both in terms of himself and providing jobs for others?  One of the midrange A-/B+ students (which, with grade inflation being what it is, was high but not stratospheric in the class) went into the family construction business and is probably just now reaching upper management; maybe I'll find out at our 15-year reunion this year.  He was definitely no slouch, was in the gifted program and all that, but definitely wasn't a National Merit Finalist.  (Of course, I'm assuming that that business survived the housing slump and credit crunch.)

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As for 3.0 being no big deal, that's because of rampant grade inflation. today's "B" is a "C" from forty years ago (if that). And academic standards were considerably more rigorous back then. No wonder millennials have such an inflated opinion of themselves.

 

I don't believe that at all.  Students slept or got high back in the 70's highschool still graduated with C's.  I don't think that's possible today at all.  Advanced/honors programs being taught in today's high schools are so far beyond what schools were teaching 40 yrs ago.  I'm 20 yrs out and I know we were doing "advanced" precalculus my senior year.  Now they offer advanced calculus.  40 yrs ago I think geometry was about as far advanced as you could get or Algebra II.  Same goes for english and science curriculum.

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I had a 2.13 in high school.... certainly assisted by a decent share of FAs and a general 'I gives no f#€ks' attitude.  I didn't start making Deans List until my fourth semester in college. I've done alright for myself. In fact, in hindsight, if I had done better in HS I might not have went to the same college and would have never met my wife, who attended a different college but in the same city. 

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As for 3.0 being no big deal, that's because of rampant grade inflation. today's "B" is a "C" from forty years ago (if that). And academic standards were considerably more rigorous back then. No wonder millennials have such an inflated opinion of themselves.

 

I don't believe that at all.  Students slept or got high back in the 70's highschool still graduated with C's.  I don't think that's possible today at all.  Advanced/honors programs being taught in today's high schools are so far beyond what schools were teaching 40 yrs ago.  I'm 20 yrs out and I know we were doing "advanced" precalculus my senior year.  Now they offer advanced calculus.  40 yrs ago I think geometry was about as far advanced as you could get or Algebra II.  Same goes for english and science curriculum.

okay, I think you might just be trolling here to get me all riled up! and it's working. Even in my mediocre high school in Painesville over 40 years ago calculus (along with something called applied math  :wtf:) was offered in senior year, which only a handful of students made it to. And the valedictorian of my class was a real valedictorian who went to Dartmouth and then to Stanford for an MBA. He's been the top level financial officer of several Fortune 500 companies. One girl went to Smith College. Another fellow student who was a year ahead of me and lived in my neighborhood is now the head of the division of psychiatry at a Big Ten medical college. These people were hardly limited to lower level classes as you claim. And again, my HS was not exactly known as an academic powerhouse. I, on the other hand did sleep my way through school; but contrary to your assertions, did not get high.

 

 

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I graduated High School in 2008.  We had a lot of valedictorians because we didn't have weighted grades.  Like 12 people in my class of 300 had a 4.0. and they all got to give speeches at graduation, too...Longest. Ceremony. Ever.

 

I graduated with a 2.8 and am nothing special.  Sorry to disprove this middle-of-the-pack theory.

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...if I had done better in HS I might not have went to the same college .....

 

I guess you didn't pay much attention in English class? 

 

Sorry just couldn't resist!  :wink:

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Yeah I think actually there was some national press saying, why all these Valedictorians?

 

Speaking on 3.0 GPA, it depends on the major and what other activities you take part of.  For me, I was an economics major with classes in Econometrics, through Calculus 4, 3 accounting courses and of course all the higher level Economics courses.  I was in athletics for 2 years of college and I also worked 25 hours a week when I wasn't playing sports.  Employers were impressed I was on academic and athletic scholarship, and my last 4 semesters when I wasn't playing football I earned a 3.5 GPA.  So, myself as a millennial I don't have a distorted view of myself.  I am definitely not a statistician and could definitely have gone farther in academics but, decided to join the work force as I had $40k in student debt and wanted to start knocking that down.  Many millennials are highly engaged and bright, and very hard working, and they will be the next generation of CEO's and upper management.  They won't skip a step and will keep pushing the economy and American innovation to the next level.

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...if I had done better in HS I might not have went to the same college .....

 

I guess you didn't pay much attention in English class? 

 

Sorry just couldn't resist!  :wink:

 

If you are basing that on some perceived error in sentence construction, then I guess you didn't either.  "Sorry just couldn't resist!" ;)

 

But, honestly, I don't recall 'English' in HS.  Which means I either didn't pay attention, didn't attend, or maybe was too stoned to know I was even in English class.  Regardless, by the time I was in High School, I was quite fluent in English anyways.

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Evidence that grade inflation is not just some made-up phenomenon by bitter baby boomers (at least this helps to explain why high schools have a million "valedictorians" in one class! :laugh:)--

 

The New Normal: The Problem of Grade Inflation in American Schools

Posted: 11/12/2014 3:34 pm EST Updated: 01/12/2015 5:59 am EST

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/angelina-massoia/the-new-normal-the-proble_b_6146236.html

 

"A freshman walks into my writing tutor office hours last week visibly upset and nearing the point of tears. "I just don't understand," she says, "I didn't think I did a terrible job on my last paper, but I got a B+."

 

I couldn't help myself; I laughed a little. Expecting the student to admit that she received a C or D on the paper, I was a little shocked at her reaction to a B+. After patiently explaining to her that she now attends a prestigious university where a B+ is a good grade, I sat wondering if I can really be surprised at her behavior.

 

Currently, the most frequently awarded letter grade in American universities is an A (about 43 percent). According to the 2011 New York Times article, "A History of College Grade Inflation by Catherine Rampell, this number has risen steadily from about 30 percent in the past 20 years and appears likely to continue."

 

"Grade inflation has become a serious issue nationwide. The new normal of grades detracts from the accomplishment of actually earning good grades and forces more expectations and stress on students outside of academics."

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...if I had done better in HS I might not have went to the same college .....

 

I guess you didn't pay much attention in English class? 

 

Sorry just couldn't resist!  :wink:

 

If you are basing that on some perceived error in sentence construction, then I guess you didn't either.  "Sorry just couldn't resist!" ;)

 

But, honestly, I don't recall 'English' in HS.  Which means I either didn't pay attention, didn't attend, or maybe was too stoned to know I was even in English class.  Regardless, by the time I was in High School, I was quite fluent in English anyways.

 

I took "stupid kid English" until senior year. I strategically chose Mr. Kennedy who was 1. always drunk and 2. would write you a hall pass to the cafeteria.

 

Then after graduation I read all the Cliffs Notes of the classics at Borders in Fairlawn. That was based on curiosity, and also just in case I needed to discuss these books later in life.

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...if I had done better in HS I might not have went to the same college .....

 

I guess you didn't pay much attention in English class? 

 

Sorry just couldn't resist!  :wink:

 

If you are basing that on some perceived error in sentence construction, then I guess you didn't either.  "Sorry just couldn't resist!" ;)

 

But, honestly, I don't recall 'English' in HS.  Which means I either didn't pay attention, didn't attend, or maybe was too stoned to know I was even in English class.  Regardless, by the time I was in High School, I was quite fluent in English anyways.

 

I took "stupid kid English" until senior year. I strategically chose Mr. Kennedy who was 1. always drunk and 2. would write you a hall pass to the cafeteria.

 

Then after graduation I read all the Cliffs Notes of the classics at Borders in Fairlawn. That was based on curiosity, and also just in case I needed to discuss these books later in life.

and here I've been beating myself up all these years thinking my school was so inferior! The first day of senior English we were assigned to memorize the first 18 lines of Canterbury Tales--and I wasn't even in the highest level class. Things really have declined.

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...if I had done better in HS I might not have went to the same college .....

 

I guess you didn't pay much attention in English class? 

 

Sorry just couldn't resist!  :wink:

 

If you are basing that on some perceived error in sentence construction, then I guess you didn't either.  "Sorry just couldn't resist!" ;)

 

But, honestly, I don't recall 'English' in HS.  Which means I either didn't pay attention, didn't attend, or maybe was too stoned to know I was even in English class.  Regardless, by the time I was in High School, I was quite fluent in English anyways.

 

I took "stupid kid English" until senior year. I strategically chose Mr. Kennedy who was 1. always drunk and 2. would write you a hall pass to the cafeteria.

 

Then after graduation I read all the Cliffs Notes of the classics at Borders in Fairlawn. That was based on curiosity, and also just in case I needed to discuss these books later in life.

and here I've been beating myself up all these years thinking my school was so inferior! The first day of senior English we were assigned to memorize the first 18 lines of Canterbury Tales--and I wasn't even in the highest level class. Things really have declined.

 

Ha! Are you older than me? This was in the late 80's.

 

That being said, I aced Advanced English senior year.  Because I'm awesome. Though Dante's Inferno, I feel, is fairly terrible literature. My time would've been better spent in the cafeteria during that book analysis.

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...if I had done better in HS I might not have went to the same college .....

 

I guess you didn't pay much attention in English class? 

 

Sorry just couldn't resist!  :wink:

 

If you are basing that on some perceived error in sentence construction, then I guess you didn't either.  "Sorry just couldn't resist!" ;)

 

But, honestly, I don't recall 'English' in HS.  Which means I either didn't pay attention, didn't attend, or maybe was too stoned to know I was even in English class.  Regardless, by the time I was in High School, I was quite fluent in English anyways.

 

I took "stupid kid English" until senior year. I strategically chose Mr. Kennedy who was 1. always drunk and 2. would write you a hall pass to the cafeteria.

 

Then after graduation I read all the Cliffs Notes of the classics at Borders in Fairlawn. That was based on curiosity, and also just in case I needed to discuss these books later in life.

and here I've been beating myself up all these years thinking my school was so inferior! The first day of senior English we were assigned to memorize the first 18 lines of Canterbury Tales--and I wasn't even in the highest level class. Things really have declined.

 

Rote memorization is not the pinnacle of education. In a world full of hard drives and other digital storage, focusing on memorization would make humans useless.

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