Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bad Idea Jeans

Is there anybody out there besides me and my wife who remembers that faux Saturday Night live commercial?

Bad Idea Jeans is a parody of the pretentious blue jean commercials of the time and it features a group of middle age guys in jeans hanging out. Each of them makes a statement of questionable wisdom that is followed by the words bad idea appearing on the screen. Here's an example:

"Well, he's an ex free-base addict, and he's trying to turn around, and he needs a place to stay for a couple of months."


"Now that I have kids, I feel a lot better having a gun in the house."

You get the idea. Anyway, all of that reminiscing was only to talk about what they are doing beginning this month in Illinois to stem the number of high school dropouts and unexcused absences.

A student in Illinois who misses 18 days of school, drops out, or is expelled will not be allowed to have a driver's license.

Bad Idea Jeans

As a teacher, I question the wisdom of such an incentive to keep people in school. In my opinion, if they don't want to be there, they should stay home. We don't need people whose likely behavior problems muck up the works in our classrooms.

There is nothing more frustrating to me than having to see the kids who know how to work and behave sitting there while I have to deal with those who don't. As a parent it riles me to no end that my kid--the good one--is being shortchanged because so much time is being devoted to someone who doesn't want to be there. (In fact, that is why my son is going to test out of H.S. and go straight to community college.)

I am all for working with kids and trying to reach them with the benefits of an education, but there has to be a point when you leave them to the logical consequences of their actions and direct your efforts towards the ones who show some promise.

It would be better if we had alternative programs for people who have proven that they are not suited to learning in the traditional institutional manner. We need trade schools where these kids will excel and experience success.

Taking away their licenses to keep their problems within the general population?

Bad Idea Jeans.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Would be very interested to learn more about the timing and process for testing out of H.S. and going to C.C. instead. You never know, it might come in handy for me someday! :)