RE: RE: DSM: Dismal according to their own measure...

Sharon Stanfill (
Fri, 1 Oct 1999 13:15:37 -0400 (EDT)

The failure of schools to teach all students to write up to
a standard measure is, indeed, sad. However, let's not forget
who these schools are teaching - the public schools must include
the learning disabled, the poor, and the immigrants, all of whom
have much to overcome in achieving even basic skills.
Yes - if you have no relevant learning disabilities, and the
people who care about you read, you'll probably learn to read
fairly readily. But this is not everyone, by any means. Are
you suggesting that those who cannot learn to read with only
minimal effort merely be left to languish? What about those
who are eager to read but have no books and no local library?

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>From Fri Oct 1 11:42:09 1999
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From: Joseph Moore <>
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Subject: RE: RE: DSM: Dismal according to their own measure...
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 08:25:36 -0700
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WarOnTies wrote:

> I think people do learn in school. It's just that what they could learn,
> left
> to make their own choices, is better and will be more useful to them, and
> will be what they want to know...
And I reply...

Sure. Humans are learning machines - we'll learn whatever we can, wherever
we find ourselves.

So, we do learn in school. The question I ask is: do we learn in school what
is purportedly being taught? That's the issue behind this thread on the
schools being failures even by their own measures - the 'writing' part of
reading, writing and arithmetic seems, even as measured by the latest test
results from within the educational bureaucracy, to be sorely lacking.

If the people who care about you read, learning to read is almost as
automatic as learning to speak. Basic math is a little tougher, but can be
mastered in an hour or so a day spread over a few months. Writing, as Mimsy
pointed out, requires thinking - hard to see how that figures into the
classroom model.

I could see, maybe, sending a kid to school for 6 months, max, to learn
these things, if the teaching were demonstrated to work. So, what's with the
other 11.5 years?

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