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IQ: Alumni blues



Even if school sucks, that doesn't mean our schools actually have to suck. And yet even motivated kids today have a lot of obstacles to overcome en route to a good education. What's the story?


Lincoln Deffenbaugh

Activist/canvasser/field manager

How do you think our nation's public schools are doing? Pretty bad, from my own personal experience of going to a public school in rural Colorado, and then going to [Colorado College] and meeting kids who had gone to private schools. It took me probably two years to catch up and get on par.

What should we blame? I really don't like the standardized tests, like the CSAPs and the Iowa Basic Skills Test. The lack of funding we put into our schools doesn't invite our best and brightest.

What was your best or worst experience in public school? My English teacher was only teaching English so she could do drama. So all year during class, we just did worksheets so she could work on her play.


Bernadette O'Keefe
West side


What do you think is the state of our nation's public school system? It's average. I think that there is not a commitment between parents, the teachers and administrations to work together, and that lack of commitment really shows.

How was your public school experience? I did the [International Baccalaureate] program at Palmer the first year they offered it. Being able to be exposed to a program like that was one of the better things I experienced.

Do you have any advice for graduating high school seniors? I think college or a trade school is a must. You can't just quit after high school anymore, and even though it's hard to do at 18, figure out what you want to do and then follow the educational path that will get you there.


Edric Spears

College student

How do you see the state of our nation's K-through-12 public schools? Towns that have a lot of money have great public schools. Towns that don't have a lot of money for education don't have efficient education programs. It could be a lot better.

What's to blame? The reason that we have inequities in the public education systems in different towns and states is because of the tax money from those towns. If that was aggregated in some kind of pool and reallocated accordingly, a lot of schools could be more effective.

What was good or bad about going to public school? My worst was probably standard physics, freshman year. The teacher had no control. It was fucking absurd, absolute havoc.

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