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Ms. Jen


Thanks for bringing this up, both on what is the level of IQ and instruction needed to pass the various exams.  There is an expectation in this country that if we give everyone equal opportunity that everyone will achieve at the same passing or excellent level.  As someone who has taught at both the K-12 level and undergraduate private college level, this is patently untrue. 

I have erred by raising the bar to the high level and expecting all students to pass.  At the junior hight level, it was a rude shock when they didn't.  At the college level, when one or two did not, I did not massage their grade to raise them up. But the next semester they came back and delivered for me.  And I still admire those students.

As for high IQ and humility, I wish in my own public K-12 education that I had been tracked out to more challenging classes earlier.  My family encouraged me towards math and science, which I excelled at, but I was terrified by writing and English composition.  At 26, I made a personal challenge at my "writer's block" by signing up to write reviews and interviews for a local indie music magazine.  After 5-6 years, I was able to overcome my fear of writing, then came blogging... and here we are.  But in many ways, I wish, I had been challenged to write and apply myself to writing much earlier, as well as rhetoric and logic.

Then programming and languages might be easier for me... 


Dav Yaginuma

Yeah. Having gone to a "party college" I can atest that there are plenty of people attending universities who really have no reason to be there that's beneficial for themselves or society.

In Austria, and undoubtedly other countries, the school system decides around grade 8 whether you'll attend a vocational high school or a college prep version. When I first heard that, my reaction was what an awful thing to have your fate decided at such a young age. But upon further reflection, I realized that people I knew really showed their true aptitude before they got to high school.

Ms. Jen

Hi Dav,

A friend of mine went to school in Germany, and he was slotted into a manual voctech school for high school.  He learned cabinet making.  At 26 he decided he wanted more out of his life and went to college in the US, Art Center in Pasadena, and studied Product/Industrial Design. 

I am not sure what I think of slotting folks at 14.  I always tested out that I should do things with my hands and am afraid that the education folks would have sent me on a non-college track.  I thrived in college and got the best grades of my school career because the classes were interesting for the first time. 

Now I use my hands and my brains together on my computer.... ;o)

But I see your side of the argument and the reasoning above.  I do think that there are a good set of folks who would benefit from voctech school rather than academic high school and college.  Then perhaps, academic high school could be geared to really challenge the kids who will go on to college.

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