September is here, and most of America’s youth will find itself inducted into the public school system. It’s no secret that the US falls short in education, but what exactly is the cause behind this educational degeneration? Circus Killer News sent its youngest-looking reporter, Laney Petrelles, to pose undercover as a high school student at Middle Brooks High School in Connecticut to bring you the full public school experience. We also sent our most depressed-looking reporter, Joel Koenner, to pose as a teacher at the same school.
Laney reported that high school has changed a lot since her days as an actual student thirty-three years ago. Every arts program and foreign language course in the Middle Brooks school district was gradually cut over time, but students still needed to take eight classes. The cut courses were replaced with things like “America Appreciation,” where students are taught how to appreciate the United States through song, prayer, and military service. Another one of these pap electives is “Second Lunch,” where students are allowed to extend their lunch break to double the legally required six minutes of lunchtime allotted to them. Another still was simply called “Books,” which has no course description. Laney reports that “Books” is taught by an actual book that a custodian props up on a desk for one hour. Additionally, many students are no longer required to take a gym class ever since the school board classified texting as physical exercise.
Joel found that teaching methods have undergone some change as well. Teachers are now encouraged to show videos instead of talking to their students. They are no longer allowed to design their own curriculums, but rather must use their own money to purchase a “curriculum packet” from the federal government that comes preloaded with every assignment, exam, and study guide the teacher will need for that year. Teaching, Joel found, is no longer a profession for optimistic thinkers eager to shape young minds. Rather, teaching is usually either a part time gig for out-of-work musicians and actors, a dumping zone for the Witness Protection Program, or a practice job for not-so-charismatic cult leaders looking to hone their skills.
While looking for the perspectives of other students, Laney managed to insert herself into every clique at Middle Brooks High. She bought herself a new car and expensive clothes to get in with the popular girls, sold narcotics and steroids to the jocks in order to gain their trust, became accepted by the hipsters by introducing them to music from her high school days that they had never heard before, and developed a sense of humor so she could fit in with the geeks, dorks, and nerds. Though these cliché groups of students had their differences, they all shared a loathing of the system, a palpable anxiety, and one singular piece of gum that has been passed down from each senior class over decades.
Written by J. S. Wydra: @jswydra
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