Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 45

A Very Bad Lesson
Eleven Houston-area school districts are suing state Education Commissioner Robert Scott over his interpretation of a "truthful grading" law. Scott says that the law prohibits school districts from mandating minimal grades--typically a 50--while the districts say inflating grades is necessary or failing students “are very likely to become frustrated, give up, and quit school altogether.”

So what will these students do when they are confronted with failure in real life? Will they expect their boss to inflate their performance appraisal? Will they expect a romantic interest to inflate her feelings? Will they expect the stock market to perform as they desire?

Apparently these districts believe that misleading students will better prepare them for life. That's a very bad lesson to be teaching.

Turtle Huggers to the "Rescue"
A group of turtle huggers is seeking to halt shrimping on the upper Texas coast in order to save Kemp's ridley turtles. Alleging that the turtles get caught in shrimp nets and then drown, the Sea Turtle Restoration Project wants to deny human beings food in order to save the reptiles.

One shrimper--who owns 15 boats--says such a ban would put him out of business.  This of course, is of little concern to the turtle huggers. To them, the turtles have more value than human beings. To them, turtles must be protected, while humans are denied the right to take the actions required to sustain their lives.

Buy American may Foil Metro
Metro may be denied a $900 million federal grant for its light rail plans because it has failed to meet a "buy American" provision. Metro's rail car vendor is based in Spain, where two test cars are to be built. Federal rules require that all "rolling stock" be assembled in the United States.

Apparently the Federal Transit Administration doesn't think that it is proper to rob Americans for the benefit of Spaniards, but it is perfectly fine to do so if other Americans are the beneficiary. Here's an idea: Do away with both Metro and the FTA and return that money to the taxpayers who earned it.

500 Posts
Earlier this month I wrote my 500th post for this blog. I realize that many bloggers have posted far more than that, but 500 is a substantial number. So I'm going to pat myself on the back.


Rational Education said...

Congratulations Brian! I have enjoyed reading your posts in the last several months.

dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dave said...

Brian ,
I have enjoyed your blog immensely, keep up the good work!
Best regards,

Brian Phillips said...

Thanks Jasmine and Dave.