Enrique Diaz-Alvarez enrique at anise.ee.cornell.edu
Thu Feb 11 07:59:38 PST 1999

Stephen E Philion wrote:
> Not stupider. More exposed to educational institutions that are not nearly
> equipped with the proper funding and infrastructure to provide a good
> education to begin with.

Well, yes and no. I have attended and visited a number of suburban American high schools, ranging from lower- to middle-middle class. In every case the physical infrastructure was astounding: sports facilities, labs, libraries. Absolutely amazing. I also got the impression that this schools had money gushing out of their windows, and wasted a good bit of it.

The human infrastructure was another matter. A lot of the teachers just did not know much about what they were supposed to be teaching. This was particularly true in math and the sciences.

Actually, I take that partly back: my American high school literature and history classes were very good; my fellow students did not profit much from them because of the pulse==B+ problem.

Of course, it's hard to get smart people to teach high school when the starting salaries are lower than any other job requiring a college degree. Perhaps that's why lit and humanities are much better: the prospective teachers have more limited working opportunities, and more likely to teach high school.

-- Enrique Diaz-Alvarez Office # (607) 255 5034 Electrical Engineering Home # (607) 272 4808 112 Phillips Hall Fax # (607) 255 4565 Cornell University mailto:enrique at ee.cornell.edu Ithaca, NY 14853 http://peta.ee.cornell.edu/~enrique

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