CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)

Margaret Ball margaret at onr.com
Tue Dec 14 13:38:05 EST 2004

Otter Perry wrote:

> On Monday, December 13, 2004, at 04:44 PM, Judith Ridge wrote:
>> Yes, I loathe the Sorting Hat too. It's so sinister, the idea that a 
>> quarter
>> of kids at the age of 11 are doomed to be sly, untrustworthy and 
>> potentially
>> murderous...!
> Sort of like all that 11-plus garbage.  When you're eleven, we know 
> all about
> what your intellect is capable of .... 

Yep, I loathe the Sorting Hat for exactly the same reasons. But I do 
wonder about whether the 11-plus was garbage (can't know, not having 
experienced it) and I do think wistfully about German schools which, so 
I'm told, have apprenticeship programs.

So okay, here in America we pretend that we don't sort anybody and we 
shove all kids through a 12-year academic curriculum aimed at preparing 
them for college. And you know, that's not such a great idea either. A 
lot give up and drop out and feel like failures. In fact, I could go on 
an extended rant about how the American public school system is designed 
to keep poor and nonwhite kids in their place and sets them up to fail.  
<gritting teeth and demonstrating self-restraint here, dammit>

The sorting is there, but it's hidden. And there aren't any good 
alternatives for the kids who aren't suited for the academic 
curriculum....at least I haven't found any.

Margaret Ball

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen; whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different.


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