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Opening Arguments


Dispatches from the education front. In West Virginia, the soft bigotry of lowered expectations takes root. School officials in Marshall County may stop requiring students to complete their homework:

Bonnie Ritz, director of curriculum and instruction, said administrators have discussed a policy that would not penalize students for failing to do their homework. The idea is that students who do their homework would improve their grades, but students not doing the work would not see grades suffer as a result. She said the concept grew out of concerns that some students in the county don't have sufficient help or resources at home.

And in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg wants President Obama to know he's on board with the call to service. A new plan will, among other things, require schools to provide the city's 1.1. million school children with community service "opportunities."

Unlike the state of Maryland or the cities of Chicago and Los Angeles, the mayor's plans will not make community service a graduation requirement.

Well, it might as well. No student will be able to get out of school without "volunteering" anyway. The invividual has value only as part of the group. Let's just keep pounding that in until they get it. And, if they should find themselves alone occasionally, stuck in a room with homework, well, not to worry. It's OK. You don't have anything to prove, kid.


tim zank
Tue, 04/21/2009 - 12:24pm

Yep, I can't think of anything more spiritually "uplifting" than being forced to volunteer. Will they get Der Leaders uniforms? Or maybe just armbands.

Michael B-P
Tue, 04/21/2009 - 1:28pm

Consigned to the no-homework-necessary school of uneeded expectations, then funneled into the youth volunteer corp: sounds like a convenient rehearsal for Stage II of Plan Dimwit, "Preparing the Cattle Chutes for Retrograde Tagging and Processing."

Tue, 04/21/2009 - 7:14pm

OMG! Moundsville, WV is my hometown and I am a product of Marshall County schools. Obviously there is now incontrovertible proof of the diminished quality of those incompetent education facilities or at the very least I now have an excuse for my poor skill levels.

Leo, I know that politics dictate that you use material from the Intellgencer/News-Register, which is Ogden's flagship paper . . . but did you have to pick on Marshall county?

BTW, Moundsville is an Ohio River town situated 12 south of Wheeling and 18 miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Within its city limits is the Grave Creek Mound built by the Adena people about 1000 BC. This prehistoric Indian mound is the largest of its kind and it is located across the street from its eerie old, stark stone and now abandoned neighbor, the original West Virginia Penitentiary. Above the entrance to prison is a West Virginia State Seal with the Latin phrase, "Montani Semper Liberi" which ironically translates to "Mountaineers are always free."

Marshall County is the mythical home place of disk jockey Chris Stevens of 'Northern Exposure" who was played by actor John Corbett. Corbett was indeed born in Wheeling, WV.