dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #929

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Wed Dec 15 15:21:04 EST 2004

> It's not that teachers don't try, it's that how can you teach 35 kids
> with 10 different special needs if you're given the same facilities as
> the teacher who's teaching 35 kids who, by age 10, are already cramming
> for Harvard?  Everyone loses but the top stream.  

The trouble is, if you don't stream, you just ask the teacher to deal 
with 35 kids with 11 special needs. And everyone loses...

Add to that, in the states, up to about 20 years ago, it was common for 
teacher's salaries to be at or below the poverty level... and the fact 
that Americans scream bloody murder about their property taxes, so 
unless you are in a school with a really wealthy tax base, the books are 
likely to be 10-20 years old (in 1984 we were using Earth Science texts 
that didn't incorporate plate tectonics) and that everybody wants kids 
to be good in a different thing, and it's a problem waiting to happen.

I used to think the level we educated kids to was 'factory worker'. But 
I think now it's more like 'clerical worker with some college'. That's 
not a good thing, as it leads people like my brother (a roofer, tile and 
carpet-layer) to feel that they need to get a 'real' job (paying, I 
might add, less than the physical labor jobs, and with less opportunity 
for growth and creativity), in, say, computer helpdesk work.

> ObDWJ: Which DWJ teacher would you want teaching you?  Mr. Wentworth, Mr.
> Crossley, Corkoran, Flury, Dr. Wilander, Miss Bell, and on and on?  For
> me, Flury, no question.

Definitely Flury. I've been taught well by Dr. Wilanders and Queridas 
and few Derks, and endured the usual number of Wermarchts.

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"I don't get the facts wrong.  It's everything else I screw up."
    -- _The Librarian: Quest for the Spear_
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