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Old 09-06-2016, 08:25 PM
Status: "Justice-two way street, and not just in favor of barbarians" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
14,602 posts, read 5,778,053 times
Reputation: 11571

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
My previous description did not cover more than a few of the factors that were in play in my case. The administrator who caused me so much grief, was the driving force behind what the teachers did to minimize my apparent success regarding my grades. He was a quack Psychologist who was hired by the school district, to deal with problem students throughout the system. It appeared that he was unable to identify enough genuine issues to justify his position and salary, so he invented some and imposed them on targeted students.

Talking with a retired high-school coach years later, he told me he had kept careful track of this Psychologist's activities over a more than 20-year period. He said that more than 50 students had been sabotaged by him and were severely sanctioned, with grades dumbed-down and extra-curricular activities denied them. His favorite targets were students like me, who had learned to read early.
As you can see you were not alone. See below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
I had a somewhat similar experience, at least in some of the details.

I attended high school in a district that strongly encourage honors courses and AP credit, graduating in 1975. The "fireworks" though go back to my freshman year, Academic 1971-2 and in particular November 1972. At the beginning of my freshman year my father had a major operation for cancer which later turned out to be unsuccessful. I had major social and adjustment problems that particular year. A teacher we'll call "Mrs. O" was my homeroom teacher in my freshman year.

Fast forward to sophomore year, 1972-3. That year I was far better adjusted socially. In fact, Mrs. O remarked on that to my band teacher. Notwithstanding her being impressed, when she met my mother and (soon to be deceased) natural father at parent-teacher night that November, the meeting did not go well. In fact, from what I heard later they nearly came to blows, though my father was by nature a peaceful, accomplished professional. In April 1973 I sat for a written exam to get into AP History. Almost alone among the people who sat for the test, I was not admitted to the AP courses. I did take other Honors-level history in Fall 1973, Spring 1974 and Fall 1974. The Fall 1974 course was taught by the department chair, Mr. R. This is significant as the story develops. I received my early decision acceptance to Cornell just before Christmas 1974.

Spring 1975 was thus a leisurely semester. My mother suggested that I take the AP American History exam. I said "why waste the money" on the test, since I was not in the course. She said "just take it." I found the test almost ridiculously easy.

After graduation, that summer, when I returned to my local town for a summer band concert, Mr. R, the department chair, pulled me aside and said he needed to talk to me. He said "I wanted you to know, you got a '5' (a perfect score) on the AP exam, but please don't make too big a deal of it." I told my mother the good news along with the strange request "not to make too big a deal of it." My mother told me about Mrs. O's hoedown with my father, and thought he didn't want the obvious discrimination in the local paper. In any event I had no intention of spreading ill iwll in my hometown as I was leaving for college. That turned out to be a wise decision.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
8,255 posts, read 2,644,656 times
Reputation: 11770
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
I had a somewhat similar experience, at least in some of the details.

I attended high school in a district that strongly encourage honors courses and AP credit, graduating in 1975. The "fireworks" though go back to my freshman year, Academic 1971-2 and in particular November 1972. At the beginning of my freshman year my father had a major operation for cancer which later turned out to be unsuccessful. I had major social and adjustment problems that particular year. A teacher we'll call "Mrs. O" was my homeroom teacher in my freshman year.

Fast forward to sophomore year, 1972-3. That year I was far better adjusted socially. In fact, Mrs. O remarked on that to my band teacher. Notwithstanding her being impressed, when she met my mother and (soon to be deceased) natural father at parent-teacher night that November, the meeting did not go well. In fact, from what I heard later they nearly came to blows, though my father was by nature a peaceful, accomplished professional. In April 1973 I sat for a written exam to get into AP History. Almost alone among the people who sat for the test, I was not admitted to the AP courses. I did take other Honors-level history in Fall 1973, Spring 1974 and Fall 1974. The Fall 1974 course was taught by the department chair, Mr. R. This is significant as the story develops. I received my early decision acceptance to Cornell just before Christmas 1974.

Spring 1975 was thus a leisurely semester. My mother suggested that I take the AP American History exam. I said "why waste the money" on the test, since I was not in the course. She said "just take it." I found the test almost ridiculously easy.

After graduation, that summer, when I returned to my local town for a summer band concert, Mr. R, the department chair, pulled me aside and said he needed to talk to me. He said "I wanted you to know, you got a '5' (a perfect score) on the AP exam, but please don't make too big a deal of it." I told my mother the good news along with the strange request "not to make too big a deal of it." My mother told me about Mrs. O's hoedown with my father, and thought he didn't want the obvious discrimination in the local paper. In any event I had no intention of spreading ill iwll in my hometown as I was leaving for college. That turned out to be a wise decision.
So, even though you were blocked from getting into the AP History course earlier, when you took the exam for those who had taken the course, you got a perfect score. Your description seems to imply that someone who may have had some conflict with your parents, was responsible for you being kept out of the course. This is entirely contrary to the fundamentals and laws of our society, to hold children responsible for what their parents or other relatives have done. I think there is a lot more of this going on in our educational system, than is visible on the surface. What I told about my experiences in school may not have been unique. But such great efforts are made to conceal such things, they usually go unreported. The request made for you to "not make a big deal out of it", I think was in hope not to bring up how you were kept out of the class in the first place.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
8,255 posts, read 2,644,656 times
Reputation: 11770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
OK, the whole situation sounds very weird to me. Not saying it didn't happen; it's just very strange. It does not sound germane to the topic we're discussing. Perhaps you need to talk this over with someone professionally.
You didn't indicate to which message you were referring, but apparently, it's the one I posted. Of course it sounds weird and your scepticism could be predicted from most people. This is a main reason why I never discussed this with anyone until a couple of years ago, and then only with two longtime friends who knew many of those involved. This is the first time I've ever told the story publicly. And there's a lot more to the whole story, with other people responsible for what happened. I would have to write a book to tell it all and I'm not sure at present, that I will tell more of it. But there were numerous other students who received this same treatment and I wonder what became of them? There may be other school systems, even today, where a disturbed and malicious person, in a position of power, may be doing similar things and completely in secrecy.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:47 AM
Status: "Justice-two way street, and not just in favor of barbarians" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
14,602 posts, read 5,778,053 times
Reputation: 11571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
So, even though you were blocked from getting into the AP History course earlier, when you took the exam for those who had taken the course, you got a perfect score. Your description seems to imply that someone who may have had some conflict with your parents, was responsible for you being kept out of the course. This is entirely contrary to the fundamentals and laws of our society, to hold children responsible for what their parents or other relatives have done.
Obviously it is contrary to acceptable educational practices or I would not have posted on the subject. In particular I would not have posted very personal material. There is little question that my exclusion was based on my father's argument with Mrs. O. My grades in her history course and English, the two writing based courses were in A and A+ territory so I should have done well on the essay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
I think there is a lot more of this going on in our educational system, than is visible on the surface. What I told about my experiences in school may not have been unique. But such great efforts are made to conceal such things, they usually go unreported. The request made for you to "not make a big deal out of it", I think was in hope not to bring up how you were kept out of the class in the first place.
you nailed it. I suspect this goes on quite a bit. Intelligent students usually have similar parents. They usually express their opinions and know their their rights. This can generate friction with teachers or school authorities. They are quite used to pushing other people around.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,108 posts, read 101,033,417 times
Reputation: 32530
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
You didn't indicate to which message you were referring, but apparently, it's the one I posted. Of course it sounds weird and your scepticism could be predicted from most people. This is a main reason why I never discussed this with anyone until a couple of years ago, and then only with two longtime friends who knew many of those involved. This is the first time I've ever told the story publicly. And there's a lot more to the whole story, with other people responsible for what happened. I would have to write a book to tell it all and I'm not sure at present, that I will tell more of it. But there were numerous other students who received this same treatment and I wonder what became of them? There may be other school systems, even today, where a disturbed and malicious person, in a position of power, may be doing similar things and completely in secrecy.
I'm not really skeptical of what you've said. I'm just saying, this sounds unrelated to what we're talking about.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:32 AM
Status: "Justice-two way street, and not just in favor of barbarians" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
14,602 posts, read 5,778,053 times
Reputation: 11571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
OK, the whole situation sounds very weird to me. Not saying it didn't happen; it's just very strange. It does not sound germane to the topic we're discussing. Perhaps you need to talk this over with someone professionally.
His remarks are very germane and not at all strange. Ever read Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron," one of the short stories in Welcome to the Monkey House? Schools and societies seem to find perverse pride in squelching excellence in the service of a spurious equality. Why else do countries such as Japan and Israel beat us in technology and intellect?
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati near
2,527 posts, read 3,450,315 times
Reputation: 5680
I skipped fifth grade. I was always one of the youngest in high school and I went away to college (on scholarship) at 17.

Even though I worked in industry for two years after college, I still was able to complete my PhD when I was 26, postdoc for two years for the DOE, and then start an academic career and get tenure and promotion by the time I was 34.

In the scheme of things, I don't think it was a big deal. I probably would not recommend it if it was an opportunity for one of my kids, though.

The only area where I was way behind the curve was with kids; I had my first nine months ago.
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,108 posts, read 101,033,417 times
Reputation: 32530
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
His remarks are very germane and not at all strange. Ever read Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron," one of the short stories in Welcome to the Monkey House? Schools and societies seem to find perverse pride in squelching excellence in the service of a spurious equality. Why else do countries such as Japan and Israel beat us in technology and intellect?
You don't get what I mean. I'm not doubting him. I just think it's a fairly unsual situation. How are Japan and Isarel beating us in technology and intellect? I thought the Japan worship was over and we were on to Finland, China, and India, with its 25% illiteracy rate as a role model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemistry_Guy View Post
I skipped fifth grade. I was always one of the youngest in high school and I went away to college (on scholarship) at 17.

Even though I worked in industry for two years after college, I still was able to complete my PhD when I was 26, postdoc for two years for the DOE, and then start an academic career and get tenure and promotion by the time I was 34.

In the scheme of things, I don't think it was a big deal. I probably would not recommend it if it was an opportunity for one of my kids, though.

The only area where I was way behind the curve was with kids; I had my first nine months ago.
The best time to have kids is when you have them.
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:44 PM
Status: "Justice-two way street, and not just in favor of barbarians" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
14,602 posts, read 5,778,053 times
Reputation: 11571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
You don't get what I mean. I'm not doubting him. I just think it's a fairly unsual situation.
My situation was far milder. If you read my post or the Kurt Vonnegut story you would realize it's more common then you realize.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
How are Japan and Isarel beating us in technology and intellect? I thought the Japan worship was over and we were on to Finland, China, and India, with its 25% illiteracy rate as a role model.
Japanese students are still perceived as high achieving. The economy is schlerotic. You don't address Israel. You don't address dumbing down of curriculum in the interest of diversity.
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,108 posts, read 101,033,417 times
Reputation: 32530
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
My situation was far milder. If you read my post or the Kurt Vonnegut story you would realize it's more common then you realize.
Japanese students are still perceived as high achieving. The economy is schlerotic. You don't address Israel. You don't address dumbing down of curriculum in the interest of diversity.
You didn't address my questions. How is Israel "besting" the US? You address that and maybe I can respond. The curriculum has not been "dumbed down". Good lord, every other day someone starts a thread on here stating that we should be doing more vocation education and not trying to prepare everyone for college. There are more AP and dual enrollment classes now than ever before.
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