What do Bissinger’s descriptions of classroom activity and teachers’ behavior at Permian High School reveal about the role of education in the lives of the students at Odessa? To what extent are those descriptions pertinent to your own school and community? What might explain, and who is responsible for, the “devastating erosion in standards” (p. 131) that many of the teachers cite? Why do you agree or disagree with Bissinger’s statement that the school’s “problems didn’t make Permian a bad school at all, just a very typically American one”? (p.132)
"This happened because there was a ton of pressure on this high school to do really well in football from their community, and the administrators bent under the pressure and were willing to give up healthy education in order to keep the masses happy with a successful football program."
"I do however see a problem with the way that education is so undermined at Permian however. Some of these kids playing football at Permian might have a chance to play in college, but it is a super slim chance that any of them are going to make a living out of playing football, which is why I feel like the education should come before football to get these kids ready for the real world and get them the knowledge they need to succeed in life."
"From the student point of view, it’s not easy being a student athlete, let alone adding jobs and extracurricular activities to the mix. I myself have sat through countless lectures from teachers complaining about “kids nowadays” and how we “don’t like to put the work in” or are “always looking for the easy way out” when in reality, most of us are just trying to keep up with the daily life of a high school student while struggling with teachers that are quick to point fingers."
"Every school you walk into will always have some students that do not care about their academics for a number of reasons. These students may not ever want to strive to get good grades and learn and become a more intellectual person, but the teachers here at Winslow always try to turn them away from that. There is not a teacher who simply gives up and lets a student fail on their own behalf."
"The fact was if you were a football player at Permian High School, they automatically had better rank among their peers no matter their grades or credentials. After all, football was Odessa, Texas."
"I do not think these descriptions are pertinent to my school because most students at Winslow try to use what they have been taught so they can keep their grades up and participate in extracurricular activities."
"Why I agree with this is simple because like I said before we have teachers here who do everything and anything possible to make the class interesting and kids still don’t care. So I see teachers trying to make the class more fun and kids still blowing it off, we’re a school in Maine and they’re a school in Texas but yet we’re having the same problems."
"One of the teacher’s from the story says this, “It still amazes me when I give a test in grammar and the kids can do it. It used to be the other way around. I used to be surprised whenever they didn’t know it. Now i’m amazed when they do know it.” When a teacher is saying that about her student, you know that your school needs to change an show a little more attention to the school and less on the football."
"America is where people go to get a better education, to achieve their goals. Just some people that grew up here are taking advantage of what they have. People are getting bored of teaching, of learning, so they say the heck with it."
"The students at Permian do not care about school because no one is punishing them for doing bad. They have to learn the hard way and get punished by life when they are looking for a job when they didn’t go to college or didn’t get degree in college. They are going to wish they did try but it would be too late for them to start over again."
"This lack of work ethic from the students is causing the teachers to not feel effective anymore and is putting a toll on the teaching in the school. The teachers try to get the students to put in work and give an effort but it is just tiring them out and is causing many problems. The teachers are losing the drive to teach because of the lack of effort being put into the work and the students see this happening so their scheme of not working is working to their advantage. "
"Winslow is a little bit different though because for the most part everyone is preaching that academics comes before sports, and at Winslow High School you have to have the grades to be eligible to play. Teachers at Winslow High School don’t have to fight with their students to get them to pay attention, so I would say the description of Permian High School is quite a lot different then the description of Winslow High School as far as classroom behavior. "