Recently one of my daughters graduated from high school. I have another daughter about to enter her junior year. One of the things that rankles a bit with the education here in Texas is the amount of wasted time.
So, to illustrate one aspect of time-wasting that goes on at our high school, a couple weeks ago I asked my senior to make a list of all the movies they watched at school over the course of her senior year as best she could remember. Here is the list:
- Approximately 20 BBC documentaries on astronomy
- Hamlet (a parody)
- The Prestige
- Wuthering Heights documentary
- Pride and Prejudice
- Like Mike
- Zone (blues music documentary)
- Men in Black
- Astro Spies documentary
- Runaway Jury
- Supreme Court PBS show
- Political ads documentary
- Gideon’s Trumpet
- Seven Pounds
- Pursuit of Happyness
- The Rookie
- Pay it Forward
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Maxed Out
- 5 People You Meet in Heaven
- The Peaceful Warrior
- ESPN Sports
- Inspector Gadget
- Back to the Future
The BBC documentaries were 60 minutes each and used up one class period, all the other movies as best as she can remember took up two class periods. Hopefully ESPN Sports only lasted one class period.
Generally I don’t have a problem with documentaries because I think they add a lot to a class in certain subject areas. And even some of the classic movies like Pride and Prejudice are marginally OK. But seriously, this represents 78 class periods used up in movies or documentaries. There are 180 days of school, so approximately every 3 days one of her class periods was a movie.
Just one example of why the US education system is falling over a cliff.