Random Thought: Bill Richardson in getting kids to do better at school.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tonight, I was doing some random entertainment reading on Google News and I saw an OP/ED bit from the Sante Fe New Mexican regarding the responsibility that kids have in their poor performance at school.  

In the article, a proposal of Bill Richardson's which called for not allowing kids who perform poorly or who have poor school attendance to get driver's licenses was mentioned (wow, that was a wretched sentence but I don't care enough to fix it).  And I thought, what an interesting idea.  

As a guy who spends a substantial portion of my time teaching college kids, I've noticed that the vast majority of students who do poorly are folks who really don't care about actually learning but just want to do the least possible and be awarded a degree.  I would assume that's even more of a problem for highschool aged students.  I wonder if incentives, such as being allowed to drive, would in fact get kids to do better in class.

What do you folks think?


A.M. Conley said...

It is cute how you advise people to do things (such as seeing Obama speak) or asking thoughtful questions (what do you think?), yet no one ever really answers them.

p.s. I answer them silently and then keep them as secrets. Oh, my secret collection of sarcastic comments...

C.K. Loo said...

I think most people who read this blog keep a secret collection of sarcastic comments....

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

I'm trying to be more publicly sarcastic. It is important to exercise one's right parahippocampal gyrus.

Yes, I googled it, and yes, I'm a hit at parties.

C.K. Loo said...


What do you think about how the elections turned out. I'm actually surprised that the Conservatives called the election now. I'm not sure what they were trying to do.

They made some small gains but I really think that the party that benefitted the most was the NDP. I'm sort of out of touch regarding what's happening back in the world of Canadian politics.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

I think both the Conservatives and the Liberals came out of this losers.

I think the writing is on the wall that a Stephen Harper-led Conservative Party is unable to make any substantive gains. I think they've hit the ceiling and they're going to need someone more Red Tory-ish to take them to the next step.

Similarly, the Liberals lost huge just on the basis of the numbers. Worst performance since 1867 (they've said); more seats than John Turner in 1984, but less popular vote share. Personally, I think the Libs act somewhat too aristocratic with their policies (this is good for you because theory says ...).

The NDP did fantastic, but, I think they've hit a similar ceiling as the Cons. They're not making inroads into Quebec and they can't get their message outside their familiar centres of influence (industrial towns, mostly).

Worse, nearly a million people voted for the Green Party, but not one single Green MP.

C.K. Loo said...

I've thought for years that for the NDP to do better they need to be able to attract the lefter leaning Liberals. Back when I was more active in the party, people were concerned with the Greens taking away from the NDP vote. However, I think if anything the Greens will attract the more moderate Conservatives.

It seems to me that you might be right that the NDP has hit a ceiling, at least if they continue with the strategy they've taken in the last two elections. I think what they need to do to improve their numbers is to talk less about labour and economic issues and start focussing more on talking about healthcare, environment, and social issues.

I think, that for the most part, left of centre Canadians, actually care less about economics and are more concerned about decreasing wait times at hospitals, improving Canada's sustainability, and issues like that. Though, I admit, the tone of the political discussion might have changed significantly in the two years I've been living down south.

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