Thursday, 8 May 2014

08:21 – Barbara is taking the day off work to take Colin to his annual vet checkup, run errands, and catch up on some stuff at home. I’m still filling bottles, hundreds and hundreds of them, for science kits.

The morning paper reports that the results of the nationwide assessment of 12th graders has only three-eighths of them proficient or better in reading and about a quarter proficient or better in math. Those figures are bad enough, but what goes unmentioned is that the bar for “proficient” is set extremely low. By any reasonable yardstick, the sorry truth is that probably at most 5% to 10% perform at what would historically have been considered a 12th grade level. Is it any wonder that private schools and homeschooling are booming?

On a related note, I see that fast-food employees are planning protests in 150 cities on 15 May to demand an increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour. Give me a break. The vast majority of them aren’t even worth the $9/hour that they currently average.

As the articles always point out, $9/hour is about $18,000/year, which is $4,500/year below the poverty line for a family of four. The articles never point out that if both parents in that family of four flip burgers at McDonalds, the family income is $36,000/year, which is $13,500 above the poverty line. Apparently, we’re supposed to think that Ozzie should be able to support his family flipping burgers while Harriet is a stay-at-home mom.