The sad state of affairs

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Can the level of math education sink any lower?

Teaching Math In 1950:
A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math In 1960:
A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math In 1970:
A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

Teaching Math In 1980:
A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math In 1990:
A logger cut down a beautiful forest, because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? After answering the question, the topic for class participation is: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)

The Result Today:
Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The young woman at the counter took my $2. I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies while looking at the screen on her register.

I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.
Jeffrey J. McGovern
 
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It may be sad, but if not for people with that level of intelligence, you may not have a cashier standing their waiting to take your order.
 

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"Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The young woman at the counter took my $2. I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies while looking at the screen on her register.

I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. "


Sorry, but I love doing this [smile]
 
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It may be sad, but if not for people with that level of intelligence, you may not have a cashier standing their waiting to take your order.
From the movie Caddyshack:

Danny Noonan: I planned to go to law school after I graduated, but it looks like my folks won't have enough money to put me through college.
Judge Smails: Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.
 
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It may be sad, but if not for people with that level of intelligence, you may not have a cashier standing their waiting to take your order.
It's more than sad. It's pathetic. She probably has a HS diploma or is on her way to getting one.

What angers me is that those are the people we end up supporting in the long run because they cant get any further than a career slinging burgers, yet feel entitled to 5 kids and a 60" flat panel.
 
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This thread reminds me of the "Los Angeles High School Math Exam" that made the email rounds years ago.

City of Los Angeles
High School Math Proficiency Exam


Name:__________________________
Gang:__________________________

1. Johnny has an AK-47 with an 80-round clip. If he misses 6 out of 10 shots and shoots 13 times at each drive-by shooting, how many drive-by shootings can he attempt before he has to reload?

2. Jose has 2 ounces of cocaine and he sells an 8-ball to Jackson for $320 and 2 grams to Billy for $85 per gram. What is the street value of the balance of the cocaine if he doesn't cut it?

3. Rufus is pimping for three girls. If the price is $65 for each trick, how many tricks will each girl have to turn so Rufus can pay for his $800-per-day crack habit?

4. Jarone want to cut his 1/2 pound of heroin to make 20% more profit. How many ounces of cut will he need?

5. Willie gets $200 for stealing a BMW, $50 for a Chevy, and $100 for a 4X4. If he has stolen 2 BMWs, 3 4X4s, how many Chevies will he have to steal to make $800?

6. Raoul is in prison for 6 years for murder. He got $10,000 for the hit. If his common law wife is spending $100 per month, how much money will be left when he gets out of prison and how many years will he get for killing the bitch that spent his money?

7. If the average spray can covers 22 square feet and the average letter is 3 square feet, how many letters can a tagger spray with 3 cans of paint?

8. Hector knocked up 6 girls in his gang. There are 27 girls in the gang. What percentage of the girls in the gang has Hector knocked up?

9. Thelma can cook dinner for her 16 children for $7.50 per night. She gets $234 a month welfare for each child. If her $325 per month rent goes up 15%, how many more children should she have to keep up with her expenses?

10. Salvador was arrested for dealing crack and his bail was set at $25,000. If he pays a bail bondsman 12% and returns to Mexico, how much money will he lose by jumping bail?
 
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"Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The young woman at the counter took my $2. I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies while looking at the screen on her register.

I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. "


Sorry, but I love doing this [smile]
Sometimes when cashiering cashiers are in a mental state of automatic, later when someone comes along and throws a monkey wrench into the routine it can throw them way off. So the occasional flub doesnt mean that that person is an idiot. Of course this doesn't excuse those who are very poor in math and rely on the register to do the math, but its something to consider when this happens to you.
 
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Sometimes when cashiering cashiers are in a mental state of automatic, later when someone comes along and throws a monkey wrench into the routine it can throw them way off. So the occasional flub doesnt mean that that person is an idiot. Of course this doesn't excuse those who are very poor in math and rely on the register to do the math, but its something to consider when this happens to you.
Agreed. I ran a register for 2.5 years, on weekends, and had the occassional customer who would wait until his order was cashed out to pull the "oh, wait a second" thing while he fished in his pocket for change so he could get a nickle back instead of three pennies.

The "no panic" approach is to count out the change, add his coin assortment to the change due back, and swap it out from the register for the consolidated coinage the guy wants.

When you're busy and on a roll, you really don't need to play "count the money" with some turd. On the other hand, there are many people, kids and adults, who are utterly stymied by the change-making process.
 

Metalhead

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Can the level of math education sink any lower?

Teaching Math In 1950:
A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math In 1960:
A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math In 1970:
A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

Teaching Math In 1980:
A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math In 1990:
A logger cut down a beautiful forest, because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? After answering the question, the topic for class participation is: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)

The Result Today:
Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The young woman at the counter took my $2. I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies while looking at the screen on her register.

I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.
Jeffrey J. McGovern
Why would you give $2.08, is that more more or less than $1.58? [wink]
 
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I'm afraid I am more confused than usual. I see two quite different concepts expressed in this thread:

1. Education has been dumbed down to the point that it is virtually meaningless.

2. There are lots of dumb people out there.

Now is the young lady who can't make change dumb, or merely lacking in a proper education?

Mark L.
 

Garys

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I'm afraid I am more confused than usual. I see two quite different concepts expressed in this thread:

1. Education has been dumbed down to the point that it is virtually meaningless.

2. There are lots of dumb people out there.

Now is the young lady who can't make change dumb, or merely lacking in a proper education?

Mark L.
She could be both. From what my wife sees of her students, they lack both a fundamental education and in many cases, the ability to absorb a fundamental education. Of course by the time they get to her, they are in high school and the battle is over.

Sadly, the public school system is less about education than it is about indoctrination and self esteem. It's also about "social promotion" so that kids won't be stigmatized by being kept behind. So, all but the worst students are pushed through. Then the graduate, barely literate in math or English skills. The MCAS and similar test passing scores are lowered so that more kids can pass.

None of which you can convince liberals is true as they are certain that the school systems are doing a great job. Of course they either have no kids, or can afford to send their kids to private schools.

Meh.
 
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The entire education system is unfathomable tragedy.

One immediate way to remedy the system is to adopt a state-wide school choice policy.

This introduces the "invisible hand" to in otherwise monopolistic system.
 
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It's also about "social promotion" so that kids won't be stigmatized by being kept behind. So, all but the worst students are pushed through. Then the graduate, barely literate in math or English skills. The MCAS and similar test passing scores are lowered so that more kids can pass.
It's also sadly evident that there is simply not enough room in the building to house all the students who should be held back due to academic deficiencies. They have to be advanced, or else there'd be 45 kids squeezed into a classroom built to accomodate 30.

I'm not aware of MCAS requirements being relaxed, however. NCLB is not terribly flexible, as far as I can see. The best hope for the High Schools is a high drop-out rate. Drop outs do not need to worry about the MCAS requirements for graduation. And the State will play musical chairs with administrators of "failing" schools for years before they admit the futility of their efforts.

Remember that stupidity starts with the parents. Those who value education send kids to school ready and willing to learn. Crackheads, criminals, whores and drug addicts use the time that their children are in school to pursue their ... other interests.

We are outnumbered, and few of us can afford the luxury of a "Sidwell Friends" education. Eventually, some urban schools will simply become warehouses for the dysfunctional children of dysfunctional families. And all that will come out at the end are marginal human beings, some of whom might have been bright students at one time.

No legislation from Washington is going to alter this reality. The breeding stock that feeds the schools is irreversibly corrupted. There is no cure.

Homeschoolers and private schoolers, may emerge from the coming calimity unscathed. Few in public education will, if trends are allowed to continue.
 
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I'm always amazed at the number of people with high school diplomas, and even the rare college degree, who can't pass the ASVAB.
ASVAB is a cinch. Took it in High School. Match the screw to the screwdriver. [thinking] I got a 98 on the AFOQT, a couple of years later. It's just a test. I hear a lot of "I don't test well" complaints. Mostly from people who are just plain dumb. Then again, some people test well, but are pretty damned hard to hold a conversation with.
 

Garys

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It's also sadly evident that there is simply not enough room in the building to house all the students who should be held back due to academic deficiencies. They have to be advanced, or else there'd be 45 kids squeezed into a classroom built to accomodate 30.

I'm not aware of MCAS requirements being relaxed, however. NCLB is not terribly flexible, as far as I can see. The best hope for the High Schools is a high drop-out rate. Drop outs do not need to worry about the MCAS requirements for graduation. And the State will play musical chairs with administrators of "failing" schools for years before they admit the futility of their efforts.
The requirement relaxation may well have predated NCLB, but it exists. Drop outs of course end up costing us in some form, at least under the current "entitlement" culture. Administrator musical chairs seems to be the result of the ed reform of the 1990s. "Dance of the Lemons" might be a better term as systems shuffle their problems around and around.

Remember that stupidity starts with the parents. Those who value education send kids to school ready and willing to learn. Crackheads, criminals, whores and drug addicts use the time that their children are in school to pursue their ... other interests.
My wife sees that every day. The kids are stupid and the parents are, if anything, more so. She thinks it's a result of the crack babies of the 1980s reproducing and those children being even more screwed up than the parents. When she sees the few parents that ever show up for anything, it's clear to her where the problem lies.

We are outnumbered, and few of us can afford the luxury of a "Sidwell Friends" education. Eventually, some urban schools will simply become warehouses for the dysfunctional children of dysfunctional families. And all that will come out at the end are marginal human beings, some of whom might have been bright students at one time.
What do you mean eventually? Many already are. What's even more sad is that the kids who are motivated and study hard are pretty much ignored. Does anyone even have "gifted and talented" programs any longer? Schools are mandated to provide programs for "special ed" kids, but I don't know of any such mandate for kids with a lot of potential.


No legislation from Washington is going to alter this reality. The breeding stock that feeds the schools is irreversibly corrupted. There is no cure.

Homeschoolers and private schoolers, may emerge from the coming calimity unscathed. Few in public education will, if trends are allowed to continue.
I contend that Washington caused the problem, or at the very least exacerbated it. IMO, there should be no such thing as a federal Dept. of Education. Nor should there be any federal standards for education. Let the states decide how to fund their school systems. Even within states, some school systems are going to be better than others. I know that the liberals hate that inequity, all while they send their kids to private schools or schools in affluent towns. As a result they want them all to be equal, and in their starry eyed idealism, think that all schools will be elevated to their school systems lofty status. The reality is that "equality" will equal mediocrity, at best. It's sad, but as long as the current system is in place and there are no choices for the majority of people, it's only going to get worse.
 
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I screwed up on the "Administrative Skills" portion. Never could file worth a damn.... Cursed West Bridgewater Public Schools education!!!!!
Ken, so help me God I remember one question on that test that described an automotive repair issue ... something to do with a loose front end.

One of the multiple choice diagnoses had to do with "excessive king pin wear".

I thought to myself ... "WTF!? I doubt that Goober on the Andy Griffith Show would have got that one!"

Still, I did OK, and there were worse places than WBHS ... [wink]
 
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