La Incompetencia Tiene Consecuencias

"It's important to have a job that makes a difference, boys. That's why I manually masturbate caged animals for artificial insemination."

Ah, Clerks.

Now, not to put down animal masturbators, but is that job really any more important than being a guidance counselor? That's the gist of the joke. It's better to jerk off a horse than it is to tell high school kids what classes to take.

I don't know what the consequences are for bad masturbators, but it turns out bad counselors have a bit more responsibility than we may give them credit for. And when they fuck up, they fuck up bad. So bad DC public schools are no longer allowing freshmen to take foreign language classes.

You see, there are no foreign language requirements in DC. There are, thank God, math, science, and English requirements. But no foreign languages. Those are electives. The problem is that DC guidance counselors are so God damned incompetent that DC students aren't fulfilling their core requirements. Like, the most basic and simplest pat of guidance counseling should be to make sure a student has the credits required to graduate. And they can't handle it. Christ. I could do this for them. It can not be that hard.

So Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, in order to protect students from their counselors' ineptitude, says no more foreign talk until you're a sophomore.

If this needs to be done, it needs to be done. Only 58% of DC students graduate high school. That's a humbling number. Getting people in and out of high school with basic skills is more important than having a drop-out that can conjugate Spanish verbs.

But oh my goodness does this fuck over the college bound kids. Many universities, especially ones that specialize in communications, require at least two years of foreign language training. Some require the entire four. And if you're a DC student who wants in that hypothetical school, then what? Then you're shit out of luck.

Even if a school doesn't require intense foreign language training, there's no denying that those courses look awfully good on a high school transcript. Chancellor Rhee is making it harder for DC students to attend good colleges. Madness.

But in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation, I give Ms. Rhee credit for picking the option that will help the most people. She's probably doing the right thing. Hell, I only took two years of French in high school (I ne parle pas the Francais) and I turned out alright. DC students should follow my lead and shoot for the stars...assuming "the stars" means a second-tier university. Anything above that is pushing it.

So a big "Thank Fuck You!" to those guidance counselors whose idiocy has led to the further weakening of the DC school system. Bravo!

I think I would take a bullet before letting my child attend DC public schooling. If push came to shove, I could move. I pity those who aren't blessed with the same opportunities.

(h/t DCist)


  1. It always irked me when people criticized the Clintons for sending Chelsea to Sidwell...they clearly showed their ignorance of the conditions and level of education at DC public schools. And this was under Mayor for Life, so it was even worse.

  2. I've always wondered why no one comments on the general ineptitude of guidance counselors. There has to be some sort of training? Right? Maybe even professional pride in not screwing over students - especially since the ones who at least visit the counselor are probably trying. I met a college senior, all honors, who had never heard of the federal student loan program and was trying to apply, without help, only to colleges she thought her single mother could afford to pay full price.

  3. Look, if you're applying to college from a DC public school, it offsets any damage only having three years of a foreign language would do to you. In fact, kids from DC public have a ridiculously unfair advantage over let's say, a kid in Fairfax County, when applying to college.

  4. Yes. Those lucky, lucky inner-city teens. Recipients of all the benificience in the world. I wish I could live in poverty, so that everyone would just throw opportunity my way. It's unfair, is what it is. Everyone knows they go to schools with no heat and textbooks from 1963 just to show off for the Ivy admissions committees.

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  7. Wow Jon, do tell what is this "ridiculously unfair advantage" that DC public school kids have over Fairfax County teens? You must be joking! Compare the public educational systems in Fairfax County to the District, and tell us again who has the advantage. Have you ever attended a DC public school? Because if you haven't, don't make blanket statements about what you think DC public schools provide their students. There is a vast inequity between the DC public schools in practically every other DC neighborhood when compared to those in upper Northwest.

    I attended private schools in McLean, Va and DC until my sophmore year of high school, when I had to transfer to Wilson. I know first hand of these incompetent guidance counselors. Mine had the gall to tell me, upon looking at the Ivy league and top state schools I applied to, that perhaps I should pick some safety schools. She almost laughed when I said, UVa is my safety school. No thanks to her stellar advice, I got into almost every school I wanted.