Thursday, 10 March 2011

Good Christian.....Ladies

There is a new show coming up this fall....called "Good Jewish Bitches".  Oh, I'm sorry....it's really "Good Christian Bitches", my mistake.

ABC picked up on this storyline about some gal who decided to dump her situation out on the west coast and return to where she grew up...in the heart of Texas....and fighting off the Christian bitches who live there and attempt to rein in her un-southern like behavior.  One has to smile because to make this work....you need some really nasty Christian ladies to say some pretty bizarre things....which would never happen in California.

Naturally, folks are upset about the title and the suggestion that Christians are bitches.

The chance of copies being made?  Good Hindus Bitches?  Good Christian Bastards?  Bad Islamic Bitches? It's pretty much a guaranteed thing.

My humble opinion is that we've pretty much gotten to the bottom of the pickle barrel.  There's no more decent ideas left.

Within a year...we will likely see these three ideas:

1.  Jacob in New York.  The story of a Mennonite guy who packs up his family of twelve and moves to New York City.  It's a comedy surrounding the Mennonite non-use of technology in the Big Apple.  Within six weeks of arrival....Jacob's wife has been hired by NBC's Today Show to cook up fresh pie on the air once a week and charm folks with her Mennonite lustiness.

2.  Karl & Karl & Karl.  These three guys named Karl accidentally bump into each other while looking at a loft apartment in Miami.  They decide the loft is big enough for the three, and they all move in together.  There would be Karl jokes for three or four years from this series.

3.  Lust in Red Bay.  It is one-hour soap opera about a bar that features mostly losers and the arrival of some gal from Nashville.

It's sad in a way...that we are inventing mostly one-star shows to come after Green Acres, All in the Family, and Evening Shade.

The Way Things Are

A couple of years ago....deep into the Bush administration....it was believed that America's schools were screwed up.  Everyone came to agree with this political agenda that we ought to test kids and schools across America.  We would close bad schools and promote great teachers.  So they started these tests.

It's an amazing thing.  USA Today came out this week and printed up the big story....which isn't really about the improvements but the drastic way that school goes from the 19 percentile range of scores to the 80 percentile range of scores....in one year.

Naturally, a guy from Bama would ponder upon this.  Statistically, this is like being from Auburn University and going from a 2-9 team one year to a 11-0 team the next.  It'd be like a church having eighty members one year and four hundred members the next.  It'd be like a tavern selling 300k cases of beer one year and 1.5 million cases of beer the next.  Statistically, things like that don't typically happen.

So the folks in charge of the tests and the state management folks are starting to look around and be suspicious.  Naturally, there's this accusation of cheating.  In some cases, the kids came to be shocked that a practice test they took the week before had the same math formula situation as the test.

Here's the real issue.  We dreamed up this perfect vision of education and basically told folks you had to deliver that vision.  They've got twenty-four kids in the classroom who barely got up to the 33 percentile point of the chart last year and the teacher knows that even if things went great....he'd have to drag these kids up a mess of shortfalls from three or four bad years of teaching....just to get a 10 percent gain....maybe up to the 45 percentile point.  That would be realistic, but it wouldn't make his situation look great.  So cheating becomes an option.

We want good schools but the fact is that we've turned schools into this Wal-Mart operation where we drop Johnny Junior off and expect great results in twelve years....and the folks in the store-front operation just aren't the best teachers (although we pay them $50k to $80k a year, and they get eight weeks of off time a year, and the best benefits package that the union can dream up).

How many cheaters are there?  No one is real sure.  The filter system can show the guys who've gone from the twenty percentile point to the sixty percentile point.....but a guy who merely takes his group from the sixty-five percentile point to the seventy percentile point might be cheating as well.

Finally, this brings up the six weeks prior to the test.  Basically....you end up stopping any continued chapter coverage.....and go to this review period of six weeks.  You are basically wasting six weeks to teach kids how to take a test....and nothing less than that.  It's a nifty concept....learning the features of a test....which you might use in college but I kinda doubt that more than thirty percent go onto that part of life.

We invented this mess to fix a problem....and basically created a whole brand new problem.  We've also learned that teachers are fairly smart....at least about teaching kids how to take tests.  Now if we could only get them to remember the multiplication table.