Saturday, February 27, 2010

Got Stoopid?

Chances are your child's school will hemorrhage dollars faster than a slot machine addict with six arms, as state aid to education is expected to plummet over the next couple of years.

While some cling to the vague expectation that schools will become more efficient, you can't escape reality: keeping the average classroom temperature above 60 degrees costs money. 

So does employing teachers.

Teachers are in the business of making people less stupid. Therefore, amount of stupidity in a society is inversely proportional to the number of teachers per capita.

In other words, more teachers = less stupidity.

Are you following me? Or was your k-12 education underfunded?

As newspapers begin to deliver tales of school budget catastrophe, keep in mind some of the following examples of colossal stupidity that could have been averted if only there were more teachers.

1)  The Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council is airing ads encouraging parents to give their children chocolate milk, claiming that it's "healthy." Okay, we ought to make sure kids get enough protein and calcium. But aren't these essential nutrients available in something that doesn't contain 30 or 40 grams of sugar per serving? 

The main ingredient in chocolate milk is high fructose corn syrup (you know what that is because of your amazing high school health class). 

The good news: once your child has diabetes, you can sue the Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council for false advertising.

2)  The University of Maine has decided to go entirely smoke-free by 2012. On the surface, this looks like a great way to promote public health and get rid of some of those pesky tenured journalism and philosophy professors. But five seconds of deep thought reveal how lame this initiative really is.

First of all, the enforcement method for this policy -- an army of omniscient fairies carrying little fire extinguishers -- will not come cheaply. 

Secondly, alcohol abuse threatens public health on campus much more ominously, as nary a weekend goes by when someone isn't busted for OUI, raped in a drunken stupor, or hauled off in an ambulance with alcohol poisoning. Let's see the university get serious about underage alcohol possession first before they go inventing new draconian rules.

Of course, they'll never do that, because the students would freak out, protest, and transfer to someplace more tolerant. After all, drinking is an integral part of the college experience, particularly if you're stupid.

3.  Lots of people are calling Central Falls, Rhode Island school Supt. Frances Gallo a hero for standing up to the teachers' union. Give me a break.

She wanted high school teachers to spend more time with students by extending the school day and adding more lunch duties. Fine. 

The teachers said they wanted to be paid for this extra time on the job. Such an outlandish demand left Gallo no choice but to fire the entire faculty

Now she gets to hire a bunch of new teachers who are willing to work more hours for less money (read: rookies, plus maybe some people who didn't make it through the probationary period at their last job). Now watch those test scores soar!

That's right, Junior. You live in one of the poorest communities in the state, but your school rates low because your teachers all stink.

Now, finish your chocolate milk and Lucky Charms so you won't be late for the bus.

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