Saturday, June 21, 2008

Is Our Children Learning?

"What's not fine is rarely is the question asked, are, is our children learning?" said President George W. Bush. According to the news this week, let's see:

In Newport Beach, California, a couple of high school students were caught changing their grades from a below average/average grade point average (how redundant!) to something worthy of admittance to UC Berkeley. Had they hacked into the record system once, or changed their grades into something more believable - say a C into a B minus, for instance - no one would have noticed. Unfortunately, only kids with some sense would have thought that through and come up with a better deceptive plan. Then again, smarter kids have higher grades (or are never caught). Once more, if these students weren't academically strong enough for UC Berkeley, what makes them think they would be suited for that college anyway? They can't just hack their way to a degree and a career. Hacking is for middle class suburban kids and therefore not a legitimate means for underhanded success. Nepotism is where it's at, albeit only attainable by the dynastic, pseudo-aristocratic upper crust of American society.

On the other side of the country, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a large group of teenage girls allegedly made a pact to all get pregnant together so they could play doll house...for reals. Everyone, please pick and choose your heroes, or targets for emulation, carefully. For instance, the movie Juno is a movie. And new teen mom Jamie Lynn Spears is a Spears (congratulations to her, by the way, of course). Having a pregnancy pact with a town virtually full of teenage mothers pretty much puts that town at risk for being raided as a polygamist compound. At least one pregnancy was allegedly attributed to a 24 year old homeless man, and who knows? He could be the polygamist leader of the compound, err, town of Gloucester. Where's the ATF when you need them?

So, Mr. President, to partly answer your question: The 20 or so kids mentioned above are probably not learning. Then again, there are several million in America who are, and it is our responsibility as Americans to make sure they grow up in an America that encourages their growth as good Americans. And of course, an America that might give the other kids another chance, too.

I'm Ryan DeRamos, and I approve this message.

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