Losing Hope

According to this article in the AJC, 15,000 fewer High School students are eligible for the Hope Scholarship because of new tougher standards needed to qualify. The article’s author Kevin Duffy tells us most of the 15,000 screwed by the new rules are “minorities” yet Duffy can only produce two kids harmed, one from Brookwood High School in Snellville and another from Parkview High School in Lilburn. While there are certainly minorities at these two schools, Brookwood and Parkview are not exactly filled with underprivileged students. Duffy couldn’t find any truly disadvantaged students to prove how horrible these new standards are?

27 comments

  1. Holly says:

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    OKAY. This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to scream, yet makes me very, very glad that I left the classroom.

    People want our schools to be better, but when the standards are tightened, they complain about losing HOPE.

    Part of the problem with HOPE – and knowing then-Gov. Miller’s view of education, he’d never have instituted the thing had he foreseen this problem – is that students and parents all seem to think HOPE is “owed” to them, even if they aren’t doing the work to make the grade.

    So what happens? They whine to the administrators about the teachers being too tough, and then the administrators fold and fuss at the teachers, who are forced to not be so hard on the students.

    My mother is a prime example of this. In the early 1990s, she led two students to the International Science Fair. She had students placing at state science fairs and in national science competitions. She had a reputation as being hard chemsitry teacher at her school, and granted, she was, but her students learned, and they’d often come back after being away at college to tell her how glad they were that she taught them the way she did because it prepared them for college.

    Enter the entitlement-minded students of the late 90s and this decade. My mother was told that she was not allowed to have essays on chemistry tests. Then fill in the blank became “unfair”, and then she was down to multiple choice tests with a few math problems, but those pesky math problems were challenged as well – in a chemistry course.

    In the end, she left to become a gifted facilitator, which is much better for her, but consider the damage that was done academically to those kids who went through her severely dumbed-down course. Sure, making the grade was easier, but what did they learn?

    When most of our kids go off to college, they lose the HOPE grant because they’re not ready for prime time. Of course, it’s those same interfering parents who fussed about the hard teachers when their child was in high school who gripe and complain that their child wasn’t taught properly once they lose HOPE in college. Idiots.

  2. Common Sense says:

    an 89 in not the same as an 80. If we had problems funding HOPE right now maybe it should become more dificult to get but why should these kids get screwed when the money is there?

  3. CHelf says:

    Those two schools may not be filled with underprivileged kids but does that have anything to do with two being found? Are you assuming that every kid in both of those schools drives a BMW furnished by daddy?

    That’s a stretch to assume that just because they attend those schools, they cannot be underprivileged. Buzz surely you can mount a better rebuttal than that.

  4. Two students, one takes 5 classes and gets an 81 (B) in all 5 classes.

    The other takes 5 classes and gets a 99, 89, 89, 79 and 79.

    Numerically, student #2 averaged 87% in his five classes while student #1 averaged 81%. However, student #1 is eligible for HOPE while student #2 is not. Hard to feel bad about these Gwinnett parents quoted in the article knowing that odds are they were enthusiastic Sonny supporters both times. You are what you eat.

  5. Doug Deal says:

    Student A gets a 10% and has to retake the class and gets a 60%, a barely passing D. Student B gets a 59, retakes and gets a 59%, still an F. Student B has a 59% average, while student A has a 40% average, yet Student A passes the course and B doesn’t.

    How is that any different than what you mentioned, and how is that unfair. The rules are a B in every class, not a B average in all classes. As far as the hope is concerned a C is a failing grade.

  6. Demonbeck says:

    Student A and B should spend less time lifting empty kegs for the camera and more time studying.

  7. Icarus says:

    Demonbeck,

    Students A and B are on a much better program than HOPE. Studying, like work, is overrated.

  8. Federalist says:

    College is not for everybody, and this is where parents get it very wrong. Of course every parent wants the best for the child, and it is also true that every parent wears “rose tinted” glasses when observing their child’s potential. This country was not made as great as it is by pushing mediocre children through institutions of higher learning, and we should not promote such behavior. One good thing that came from the HOPE scholarship was the increase in competition to get into college, more students=less space. Hopefully this means that only the most capable are left to continue their college education. Case and point…look at how the minimum requirements have risen nearly across the board. Now it is much harder for good-ole’ boy rednecks to get into UGA.

  9. bowersville says:

    A. My youngest son has lost his HOPE scholarship after this semester.

    B. He graduated with diploma in hand tonight.

  10. mlstout says:

    As the value of learning has been reduced to a marketable product that can be bought and sold, the standardized test scores in America have taken a nose-dive.

    Meanwhile the family disintegrates.

  11. bowersville says:

    Lost HOPE does not always= C student.

    Rule 1.A.4.C of the Hope Scholarship:

    c. A student must be an undergraduate….

  12. Federalist says:

    The article in question was about qualifying for HOPE as an undergrad. If an undergrad loses HOPE, and has yet to graduate, they are a C student.

  13. Federalist says:

    The article in question was about qualifying for HOPE as an undergrad. If an undergrad loses HOPE, and has yet to graduate, they are a C student. But you apparently understand my statement.

  14. The Comma Guy says:

    The AJC ran an article a couple of years ago showing that while the average GPA in Schley County High School went up (to a B!) the SAT score did not. It’s a sad truth that many accept – everyone gets a B in Georgia unless you really screw up. No teacher wants to face the heat from the parents or administration if they keep a student from getting HOPE. The high schools would rather let the colleges weed out the students rather than do it in high school.

  15. Doug Deal says:

    Demon,

    And it’s funded by taking advantage of uneducated lottery players.

    If we must rob the poor of what little discretionary income they have, I think it would make more sense to take the money and use it to set up a guaranteed loan program with an extremely low interest rate.

    This way, more students can be funded, yet they actually end up paying for their own education. I think this is a better life lesson than can be learned in English or History class.

  16. Demonbeck says:

    How about making HOPE turn into a loan for every semester you receive funds but don’t get the required grades.

  17. Doug Deal says:

    Not exactly. I mean neglible interest of say 1-2 percent. Enough to fund distribution/collection/administration of the program, and nothing else.

    I disagree with your second point. The fact is, going to college increases your ability to earn money and be competetive in the marketplace. Therefore, you should be able to pay for it yourself, eventually.

    Speaking as someone who had no money from my parents to go to college, it was the college loan program that was of greatest benefit.

  18. Demonbeck says:

    Fine, but let the state pay for the students who get A’s and B’s through the lottery. If they slack off and do poorly, convert the funds for that semester into one of those loans you are proposing. That way people are still able to finish school.

  19. Doug Deal says:

    I agree with you on the giving them an option that allows them to finish school thing.

    Starting college, spending a fortune, and not finishing can destroy someone financially. Not only do you not get the higher paying job, you are in debt up to your neck.

    It is one reason why I think it is a mistake to rush 18 year olds off to college. They have little understanding of what it means if they fail, and have little perspective as to what life for the average person is really about.

    I think it would be better for people to maybe wait until they are 21 before starting college, and use the 3 years to really find out what they interested in, instead of finding out as they pay some college $10,000 a semester.

  20. Jace Walden says:

    Federalist is dead on. College is not for everybody. Not only are we celebrating mediocrity by allowing every random high school kid who didn’t do his homework and f*cked around just to make the occasional “B” into college, but we are devaluing the importance of a college degree. If everyone and his brother has a college degree, then how does going to college for 4 years actually give you an advantage in life? Every other kid did the same thing. Congratulations, you’re just like every other kid in America with a degree.

    Not that a college degree automatically makes you qualified to do anything…but typically, if I’m going to work my butt off for four years on something, I want it to be something that will give me a practical advantage over the guy next to me. The fact is, a college degree does not provide that advantage as much as one used to.

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